Google Lens — a tool that lets you lets you run Google searches via your smartphone’s camera — is getting a wider release.
On Friday, the internet giant announced plans to bring the technology, which was initially limited to Pixel phones, to its Google Photos apps for Android and iOS in the coming weeks.
To try it out, simply point your smartphone camera at an object like a flower or a painting, and Google’s AI-powered algorithms will fetch information about it. Last May, the company showed that Lens can identify restaurants around you and bring up their ratings and reviews. The technology is even smart enough to recognize the Wi-Fi password on an internet router, and automatically connect your phone to it.
“Since launch, we’ve added text selection features, the ability to create contacts and events from a photo in one tap, and —in the coming weeks— improved support for recognizing common animals and plants,” Google wrote in a Friday blog post.
The technology is also headed to “compatible flagship devices” via Google Assistant. Google told CNET those devices include smartphones from Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Sony and HMD/Nokia.
Unfortunately, the upcoming Google Lens expansion will only be available for English-language users. The technology itself is still in a preview release.
Meanwhile, on the developer side, Google is taking a new step to promote its augmented reality toolkit. The company’s ARCore platform is out of beta, officially graduating to version 1.0. Developers who have been building AR apps with it can now publish their work to the Google Play Store.
The technology in ARCore currently works on 100 million Android smartphones, all of which are newer flagship devices from Samsung, LG, and Google itself. Other vendors, including Sony, Asus, and ZTE, are also developing phones that will support the AR technology.
Google made a point to note that AR-powered apps using its technology are headed to China, a market where many of the company’s services have been banned because of government censorship. Google plans to deliver these apps via local app stores run by Huawei, Xiaomi, and Samsung in China.