Google Lens now has its own app for a faster launch

The app doesn't add any features, but it can help with starting up the AR visual helper.

Abrar Al-Heeti Technology Reporter
Abrar Al-Heeti is a technology reporter for CNET, with an interest in phones, streaming, internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. She's also worked for CNET's video, culture and news teams. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
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Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read

Lens, Google's augmented reality visual helper, now has its own app. 

Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET

Google released an app for its Google Lens augmented reality helper on Monday, directing users to a service that provides a quick link between the real world and the digital one. 

The software serves as a quick-launch icon for the service, according to Droid Life, similar to an earlier app for Google Assistant.

Google Lens, introduced at Google's I/O conference in 2017, uses your phone's camera as a de facto Google search bar. For example, you could point a phone's camera at a tree and Google will tell you what kind it is. If you point it at a book, you'll get author info and reviews. 

The app is a "quick way to access" Google Lens features, a company representative said.

Watch this: Here are all the cool things Google Lens can do

The new software appears to work with phones running Android Marshmallow or higher, according to Android Police. Some users reported on Google Play that it didn't work on the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and Motorola Moto G5 Plus, though it was unclear what operating system they were using. They reported getting messages saying the app wasn't available on their devices. 

The Google representative said the company is aware of the issue and has already applied patches. 

"Some users still need to update the Google app for Lens to function properly," the representative said. "This will be fixed shortly." 

Last month, Google said it was integrating Lens inside the camera app for its own Pixel phone, as well as the new LG G7 and other devices from makers including MotorolaSonyNokiaOnePlus and Asus

First published June 4, 3:41 p.m. PT
Updates, 4:21 p.m.: Adds comment from Google; June 5 at 9:25 a.m.: Adds video about Google Lens features; 10:04 a.m.: Includes additional comment from Google on user issues with the Lens app.