In recent years, Google Lens has been expanding its functions in an attempt to be the ideal computer camera for your phone. Sometimes it seems like an extension of Google’s camera-based augmented reality (AR) apps, but it’s often something much more practical.
The new Google Lens update, which works on iOS and Android via the Lens app, can be used to scan text and paste it into Chrome on a computer. It seems like a practical idea, as long as you are using an updated version of Chrome. Google says it works with handwriting “if you write well.”
The update also adds audio playback from other languages scanned into Lens through a mode called Listen, which will hit Android and iOS first later. Lens already translated 100 languages through text, but the audio playback feature aims to help add context or learn to speak what is written.
A third feature adds Google search that will appear to explain or highlight the text you scan with your phone’s camera.