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Mobile Apps

Google Lens can now ID items in image search results

But just on mobile for now.

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Google's augmented-reality visual helper Lens is integrated into camera apps on phones like its Pixel. 

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Google Lens already lets you use your phone's camera to copy text from a sign, identify plants and animals, scan bar codes and get details on a monument or building. Now Google is bringing the feature's ID skills to search. 

Tap on a Lens button in mobile image search and it will place dots over objects in images so you can learn more about them. You can also draw a circle around an object to pull up more details. It'll work on many of the same things as the Lens feature in Google Assistant, but of course it will also help you buy things. 

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Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

In a post on Google's blog, Product Manager for Google Images Assaf Broitman said you can, for example, search for living room decorating ideas. When you see a couch you like in an image and tap the Lens button or draw a circle around it. Google Images will then show you related information and point you to places where you might be able to buy a similar couch.

Lens for Google Images is available for mobile web users in the US searching in English. It will soon be rolled out to other countries, languages and Google Images locations.

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