October 23, 2020
This Google camera feature just got a bundle of new tricks. Here's how they work

This Google camera feature just got a bundle of new tricks. Here’s how they work


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Use your iPhone’s or Android phone’s camera with Google Lens.


Angela Lang/CNET

Google has unveiled several new updates for its Lens tool that are designed to make it easier for you to shop remotely and for students to learn at home. Google Lens is the company’s image recognition feature that works with your phone’s camera to identify objects. It connects to Google Assistant and Google’s search database, and often projects augmented reality imagery.

To use these features, you open your Google or Chrome app on your Android or iPhone ($699 at Amazon) and select the Lens icon in the search bar. Here’s what you can do with the new tricks once they’re available on your phone.


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Find a product you’ve been looking for

If you discovered a sweater or jacket on Pinterest that you particularly like but can’t seem to find out where to buy it, Google can now help. When you tap and hold an image while in the Google Search or Chrome apps on your Android phone, Lens will help you find the item (or a similar one). 

It’ll also suggest ways to style it — like pairing it with jeans or other apparel.

Google says this feature will soon be available for iPhone users, in addition to Android phone owners.

Shop for cars as if you’re at the dealer’s

Whether you’re too busy to make it to the dealership, or you feel more comfortable shopping from home, you’ll soon be able to bring the car-buying process to your phone, or at least get a jump on the research. 

When you search for a car in the Google app, it’ll show you an AR model of the vehicle, what it looks like in different colors and details about cabin tech, like the dashboard array. You can even use Google Lens’ AR to “see” the car in your driveway.

Let Google help your kids with their math homework


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Whether your kids are in classrooms or learning online, homework is still a part of daily life. Google has added a Homework icon to its Lens tool that lets you use your iPhone or Android phone’s camera to take a photo of whatever your student needs help with. 

For example, if your child needs a hand with a math equation, Google Lens will show step-by-step instructions on how to complete the problem. Lens can also help kids read if they’re having trouble pronouncing a word.

For more Google tips, check out this new Google Maps tool that tells you how busy places are before you go, and you can now hum a tune into your phone and Google will find it. Plus, check out these seven hidden Gmail features we found.


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