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The best feature of Google Photos is now available on iPhones

Published Mar 16th, 2018 7:45AM EDT
Google Lens on iPhone
Image: Google

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Google Photos can be a life-saving app on iPhones that don’t have sufficient storage to handle your photography needs. But if that’s not a good enough reason to have one more Google app installed on your iOS devices, then you should know its best trick is finally coming to iPhone.

Google Lens is Google’s AI image recognition technology at its best. Just point the camera at different things with Google Lens turned on, and you’ll get additional information about the things you’re looking at, as well as advanced integration with other apps.

Google Lens isn’t a standalone app, it’s built into the Google Photos experience, although it’d be great to see it become a standalone app — maybe Apple should have a similar competitor in place soon. It was first launched on Google’s Pixel 2 phones last fall, and then moved to all Android devices earlier this month, before Google announced its arrival on iOS.

If you’re looking at landmarks or photos in a museum through Lens, Google will tell you what it knows about it. That’s pretty neat if you want some quick information about the things around you.

But that’s hardly the only useful thing about Google Lens. Take a picture of a business card, and Lens will let you create a contact with that information. Look at flyers that mention events, and they’ll be added to your calendar apps if you so desire.

You’ll need Google Photos 3.15 or later to have Lens work on your iPhone and iPad. To invoke it, simply look for the Lens icon inside the app.

Because this is a Google product, Google Lens does collect data about your activity. It’s no surprise there. However, you can delete your Lens history from your Google account, just like you’d do with everything else the company collects about you.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.