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Google Lens launches on iOS to power visual searches within the Google app

Apple iPhone and iPad users are no longer limited to using Google Photos to do deeper, AI-powered searches of images.

The Google Lens AI smart search app (download on iOS or Android) is rolling out for iOS users, Google announced Monday. The feature was released for Android in March but was only accessible to iOS users through the Google Photos app (iOS, Android).

Now, instead of having to take a picture and use Lens through the camera roll, iPhone and iPad users can tap the Google Lens icon in the Search bar.

Google Lens can recognize text in images, look up words, save email addresses or call people. Lens is also designed to help shopping searches. Google Translate can now use Lens text conversion for 13 more languages

To use Lens, simply tap the square Lens icon on the right side of the search bar, next to the microphone icon. The app will open your iPhone's camera and blue dots will populate on items you might want to know more information about.

When you tap an object or text, search results will generate at the bottom of the screen, on "cards" similar to ones you see in other Google apps.

Lens is helpful for deeper, more specific searches. With the app, you can add events to your calendar by tapping on text, find out where to buy an outfit or furniture online, get trivia about local landmarks, and identify plants and animals, for example.

Android users -- specifically Pixel smartphone owners -- had first dibs on the new feature. Google has slowly released Lens to other devices.

The app now also supports more languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian and Korean.

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  1. Users on iOS can now take advantage of Google Lens technology to directly perform deeper, AI-powered image searches.

  2. Previously, iPhone users could only use Google Lens through the Google Photos app, but now it works within the main Google search app as well.

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