If you can see it, you can search it. That’s the simple idea behind Lens, our visual search tool available in the Google app (Android and iOS). With Lens, you can search what you see with your camera, take a picture or a screenshot, or long press an image you see while browsing, and get a range of visual results to explore.
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and it seems that many people agree: Every month we see more than 12 billion visual searches on Lens.
Haven’t tried Lens yet? If you need some motivation, here are our favorite ways that Lens can make your life a bit easier.
1. Learn about the things you see as you go about your day
If you see a cool building or landmark that you don’t recognize, Lens can tell you what you’re looking at and provide links to learn more. Similarly, whether on the road or in your own backyard, it’s not uncommon to discover plants and animals that you can’t quite clock or describe perfectly with words. Lens helps you search what you see and learn all about it — like whether that beautiful plant can grow indoors.
2. Search for skin conditions
Describing an odd mole or rash on your skin can be hard to do with words alone. Fortunately, there’s a new way Lens can help, with the ability to search skin conditions that are visually similar to what you see on your skin. Just take a picture or upload a photo through Lens, and you’ll find visual matches to inform your search. This feature also works if you’re not sure how to describe something else on your body, like a bump on your lip, a line on your nails or hair loss on your head.