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New Google Lens features are coming at Google I/O, LG says

A small button on the new LG G7 phone holds the clue.

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Google Lens uses AI to tell you about the things your camera sees.


An update to Google Lens might be right around the corner, but we didn't get that hint from Google. Instead, LG dropped a reference in a press release for its latest phone, the LG G7 ThinQ. The LG G7 debuts a button on the phone's side that you can click to open Google Assistant and double-click to snap open Google Lens. 

"The G7 ThinQ will be one of the first devices to get upcoming Google Lens features," LG said in its press release. "More details on Google Lens will be revealed at Google I/O."

Google Lens is a feature that uses a device's Android phone camera to surface information about the objects it identifies. Lens made some waves when Google announced it a year ago at the Google I/O developers conference, and first launched on Google's Pixel 2 phones. With Google I/O 2018 kicking off May 8, it's possible Google will announce that the Lens quick-launch feature will be available to other phones.

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The G7's Google Assistant button makes LG the second modern phone brand to use a hardware key to open a voice assistant. Samsung introduced its Bixby AI assistant in last year's Galaxy S8. While Samsung intends for its phones to help anchor Bixby as Samsung's assistant across all Samsung devices, LG's Google Assistant helps Google fight back.

The next phone battle may very well come down to AI buttons like these.   

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Additional reporting by Jessica Dolcourt.