Google Lens visual search lands on Google Photos for all Android devices, update for iOS a...

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in iOS
Google has started to roll out its visual search tool Google Lens to more mobile devices, expanding from its previous exclusivity to the company's Pixel smartphones, making the feature available to Google Photos users on Android before it arrives on the iOS version of the image management app.




Announced at Mobile World Congress, Google Lens is being made available in an Android app update for Google Photos, released in batches. Just as with the version included in the Google Pixel, Lens will also be accessible through the Google Assistant, though not all Android devices will be able to use the function in that way.

The search giant did confirm Lens will be added to Google Photos for iOS during Mobile World Congress, but did not specify when to expect it's arrival, aside from stating it is "coming soon" in a Twitter post.

Google Lens is a visual search feature following on from the company's earlier effort Google Goggles, which uses image recognition to provide more information about items in a photograph. If it spots a landmark, like a building or a store, it will offer up further details usually found on a card brought up in regular Google searches, including opening hours and a brief description of the structure.

The tool can also perform text detection on an image, which can be extracted and used for other purposes, like copying the visible words into a document in another app. Google Lens even includes the ability to create a contact from a photograph of a business card, automatically filling out details displayed on the card.

While Apple has yet to offer image-based searches in Siri in this way, the iPhone producer has included some similar elements in its own Photos app. Both the macOS and iOS versions of Photos feature object recognition technology, which can search for locations, identified people, and even objects not previously identified by the user.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,112member
    While Apple has yet to offer image-based searches in Siri in this way, the iPhone producer has included some similar elements in its own Photos app. Both the macOS and iOS versions of Photos feature object recognition technology, which can search for locations, identified people, and even objects not previously identified by the user.
    Google Lens is not the same as the "search for locations, identified people, and even objects not previously identified by the user" that's long been a feature of Google Photos. 

    "It’s a jack-of-all-trades camera app capable of everything from scanning a router code to auto-log you in, to identifying landmarks in your vacation photos, to connecting with Google Assistant in real time to pull up information on a business in front of you. 

    And just last week Google’s VP of VR and AR Amit Singh showed how Lens is incorporating their ARCore technology to unlock even more capabilities, such as add real-size furniture to your living room to see how they’d fit, or see how a car would look with a different coat of paint."

    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 2 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,411member
    Automatically creating a contact by photographing a business card would be a good addition for the Apple camera. Wish Apple had thought of that.
    lolliver
  • Reply 3 of 13
    another Google thing I won't be using. The last thing I need is for all my photos to be tagged like this. How secure is that data eh?
    Will it be tagged using the Google AI? That means it is not yours any longer. 
    Google are not in this out of the goodness of their heart...
    Cynical? You bet.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,112member
    another Google thing I won't be using. The last thing I need is for all my photos to be tagged like this. How secure is that data eh?

    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?


    edited March 2018 singularity
  • Reply 5 of 13
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
  • Reply 6 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,112member
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
    Well of course if you aren't using Apple Photos then Apple Photos isn't tagging them. ;)

    FWIW I had always done pretty much the same as you, import into LR, tag'em, do some basic adjustments or cropping and then identify the ones I want to further edit in Photoshop or On1. The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    Originally I only used Google Photos as a storage bucket for my cell-phone pics. Sometime last year I began using Google Photos as a backup for every image I added to LR or initially processed as RAW in DxO while continuing the traditional LR cataloging.  In the months since I've realized the auto-tagging and search that Google provides actually saving me a lot of headaches, time, and mistagging with it's much more forgiving search functions. As a result my quick goto when looking for a particular shot has become Google rather than LR. "Woman with yellow dress", "Brown dog", or "Red flowers in Clearwater" works quite well and much faster than trying to remember a specific LR tag. 
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 7 of 13
    The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    That's why I don't tag anything now. I was out last on a wildlife shoot last week and came back with 460+ images each around 85Mb (RAW + JPEG) in size.  That is close on 40Gb of images. There is no way I'm copying that up to Google. It goes on my NAS and its Backup.
    I currently have some 3.4TB of Images going back to 2001.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    zeaj07zeaj07 Posts: 2member
    The last paragraph of the article made me want to comment. AppleInsider is an enjoyable, must read for me everyday. Sometimes though, I wish you would be a bit more critical of Apple’s performance. You seem to be ok now with saying Siri is well behind Alexa as you pointed out in recent articles. However, you don’t really call out Apple in how Apple Photos does not compare to Google Photos on face and object recognition. Apple Photos has a lot of great qualities, but recognition feels so immature. “Both the macOS and iOS versions of Photos feature optical recognition technology...” does not also say, “but is still a work in progress when compared with the keen “eye” of Google’s algorithms”. Apple Photos has a pretty limited lexicon of optical recognition search capability, crashes frequently with large libraries and takes ages to complete facial scans, even leaving out some faces readily caught by Google Photos. Your article reads as though they are on par with one another. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,112member
    The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    That's why I don't tag anything now. I was out last on a wildlife shoot last week and came back with 460+ images each around 85Mb (RAW + JPEG) in size.  That is close on 40Gb of images. There is no way I'm copying that up to Google. It goes on my NAS and its Backup.
    I currently have some 3.4TB of Images going back to 2001.
    As an aside I've shot RAW+ for a long time, but very recently decided RAW alone is all I ever really use. 
  • Reply 10 of 13
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
    Well of course if you aren't using Apple Photos then Apple Photos isn't tagging them. ;)

    FWIW I had always done pretty much the same as you, import into LR, tag'em, do some basic adjustments or cropping and then identify the ones I want to further edit in Photoshop or On1. The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    Originally I only used Google Photos as a storage bucket for my cell-phone pics. Sometime last year I began using Google Photos as a backup for every image I added to LR or initially processed as RAW in DxO while continuing the traditional LR cataloging.  In the months since I've realized the auto-tagging and search that Google provides actually saving me a lot of headaches, time, and mistagging with it's much more forgiving search functions. As a result my quick goto when looking for a particular shot has become Google rather than LR. "Woman with yellow dress", "Brown dog", or "Red flowers in Clearwater" works quite well and much faster than trying to remember a specific LR tag. 
    I'm doing a similar thing but have only just started to upload sets of photos to Google. One thing to note, and you may already know this but others may not. If you are using the Optimize option of Google Photos to avoid paying extra, every photo is recompressed, not just the ones that are over the size limits. Unless they've updated their docs, they are a bit vague about that, and a lot of folks seem to think that only photos above the resolution limit are "optimized". But even if you are using the free Google Photos the optimized versions are still pretty good and serve as a fall-back should something happen to your master copies.

    If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it includes Prime Photos which does preserve your images as you upload them. The image file you upload is what you get back if you download it later. But Amazon's service is slow as molasses compared to Google. Ironically given Google's business strategy of sucking up every bit of data they can, Amazon does a little better job of making use of the metatdata already in your photos when you upload them. Google seems to ignore most of that info and instead rely on it's image recognition technology. (Neither does a stellar job of reading all the metadata and keywords I've added before uploading my photos and making use of it for searching or creating smart albums.)

    Since I already had an Amazon Prime membership, I upload my original, master copies of images to Amazon after metadata has been added. I know I can get that exact image file back from Amazon should I need to. Then after any edits (still using Aperture) they are uploaded to Google as optimized fall-back copies (as opposed to backup copies) and for sharing across my iDevices. Between these two independent online services, local Time Machine and remote (aka, the office) clones of my drive, it would take a spectacular series of failures to lose my pictures.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,411member
    wiggin said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
    Well of course if you aren't using Apple Photos then Apple Photos isn't tagging them. ;)

    FWIW I had always done pretty much the same as you, import into LR, tag'em, do some basic adjustments or cropping and then identify the ones I want to further edit in Photoshop or On1. The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    Originally I only used Google Photos as a storage bucket for my cell-phone pics. Sometime last year I began using Google Photos as a backup for every image I added to LR or initially processed as RAW in DxO while continuing the traditional LR cataloging.  In the months since I've realized the auto-tagging and search that Google provides actually saving me a lot of headaches, time, and mistagging with it's much more forgiving search functions. As a result my quick goto when looking for a particular shot has become Google rather than LR. "Woman with yellow dress", "Brown dog", or "Red flowers in Clearwater" works quite well and much faster than trying to remember a specific LR tag. 
    I'm doing a similar thing but have only just started to upload sets of photos to Google. One thing to note, and you may already know this but others may not. If you are using the Optimize option of Google Photos to avoid paying extra, every photo is recompressed, not just the ones that are over the size limits. Unless they've updated their docs, they are a bit vague about that, and a lot of folks seem to think that only photos above the resolution limit are "optimized". But even if you are using the free Google Photos the optimized versions are still pretty good and serve as a fall-back should something happen to your master copies.

    If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it includes Prime Photos which does preserve your images as you upload them. The image file you upload is what you get back if you download it later. But Amazon's service is slow as molasses compared to Google. Ironically given Google's business strategy of sucking up every bit of data they can, Amazon does a little better job of making use of the metatdata already in your photos when you upload them. Google seems to ignore most of that info and instead rely on it's image recognition technology. (Neither does a stellar job of reading all the metadata and keywords I've added before uploading my photos and making use of it for searching or creating smart albums.)

    Since I already had an Amazon Prime membership, I upload my original, master copies of images to Amazon after metadata has been added. I know I can get that exact image file back from Amazon should I need to. Then after any edits (still using Aperture) they are uploaded to Google as optimized fall-back copies (as opposed to backup copies) and for sharing across my iDevices. Between these two independent online services, local Time Machine and remote (aka, the office) clones of my drive, it would take a spectacular series of failures to lose my pictures.
    Does Amazon have a dedicated desktop-based photo uploader software or browser plug-in?
  • Reply 12 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,112member
    wiggin said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
    Well of course if you aren't using Apple Photos then Apple Photos isn't tagging them. ;)

    FWIW I had always done pretty much the same as you, import into LR, tag'em, do some basic adjustments or cropping and then identify the ones I want to further edit in Photoshop or On1. The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    Originally I only used Google Photos as a storage bucket for my cell-phone pics. Sometime last year I began using Google Photos as a backup for every image I added to LR or initially processed as RAW in DxO while continuing the traditional LR cataloging.  In the months since I've realized the auto-tagging and search that Google provides actually saving me a lot of headaches, time, and mistagging with it's much more forgiving search functions. As a result my quick goto when looking for a particular shot has become Google rather than LR. "Woman with yellow dress", "Brown dog", or "Red flowers in Clearwater" works quite well and much faster than trying to remember a specific LR tag. 
    I'm doing a similar thing but have only just started to upload sets of photos to Google. One thing to note, and you may already know this but others may not. If you are using the Optimize option of Google Photos to avoid paying extra, every photo is recompressed, not just the ones that are over the size limits. Unless they've updated their docs, they are a bit vague about that, and a lot of folks seem to think that only photos above the resolution limit are "optimized". But even if you are using the free Google Photos the optimized versions are still pretty good and serve as a fall-back should something happen to your master copies.

    If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it includes Prime Photos which does preserve your images as you upload them. The image file you upload is what you get back if you download it later. But Amazon's service is slow as molasses compared to Google. Ironically given Google's business strategy of sucking up every bit of data they can, Amazon does a little better job of making use of the metatdata already in your photos when you upload them. Google seems to ignore most of that info and instead rely on it's image recognition technology. (Neither does a stellar job of reading all the metadata and keywords I've added before uploading my photos and making use of it for searching or creating smart albums.)

    Since I already had an Amazon Prime membership, I upload my original, master copies of images to Amazon after metadata has been added. I know I can get that exact image file back from Amazon should I need to. Then after any edits (still using Aperture) they are uploaded to Google as optimized fall-back copies (as opposed to backup copies) and for sharing across my iDevices. Between these two independent online services, local Time Machine and remote (aka, the office) clones of my drive, it would take a spectacular series of failures to lose my pictures.
    Excellent mention about optimized saves. I use "original quality" on mine with a TB Google Cloud account, but I can foresee a time that those originals will require a bigger subscription if I continue to do so. 
  • Reply 13 of 13
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    wiggin said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
    Well of course if you aren't using Apple Photos then Apple Photos isn't tagging them. ;)

    FWIW I had always done pretty much the same as you, import into LR, tag'em, do some basic adjustments or cropping and then identify the ones I want to further edit in Photoshop or On1. The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    Originally I only used Google Photos as a storage bucket for my cell-phone pics. Sometime last year I began using Google Photos as a backup for every image I added to LR or initially processed as RAW in DxO while continuing the traditional LR cataloging.  In the months since I've realized the auto-tagging and search that Google provides actually saving me a lot of headaches, time, and mistagging with it's much more forgiving search functions. As a result my quick goto when looking for a particular shot has become Google rather than LR. "Woman with yellow dress", "Brown dog", or "Red flowers in Clearwater" works quite well and much faster than trying to remember a specific LR tag. 
    I'm doing a similar thing but have only just started to upload sets of photos to Google. One thing to note, and you may already know this but others may not. If you are using the Optimize option of Google Photos to avoid paying extra, every photo is recompressed, not just the ones that are over the size limits. Unless they've updated their docs, they are a bit vague about that, and a lot of folks seem to think that only photos above the resolution limit are "optimized". But even if you are using the free Google Photos the optimized versions are still pretty good and serve as a fall-back should something happen to your master copies.

    If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it includes Prime Photos which does preserve your images as you upload them. The image file you upload is what you get back if you download it later. But Amazon's service is slow as molasses compared to Google. Ironically given Google's business strategy of sucking up every bit of data they can, Amazon does a little better job of making use of the metatdata already in your photos when you upload them. Google seems to ignore most of that info and instead rely on it's image recognition technology. (Neither does a stellar job of reading all the metadata and keywords I've added before uploading my photos and making use of it for searching or creating smart albums.)

    Since I already had an Amazon Prime membership, I upload my original, master copies of images to Amazon after metadata has been added. I know I can get that exact image file back from Amazon should I need to. Then after any edits (still using Aperture) they are uploaded to Google as optimized fall-back copies (as opposed to backup copies) and for sharing across my iDevices. Between these two independent online services, local Time Machine and remote (aka, the office) clones of my drive, it would take a spectacular series of failures to lose my pictures.
    Does Amazon have a dedicated desktop-based photo uploader software or browser plug-in?
    gatorguy said:
    wiggin said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    Apparently very. And of course your photos are yours. They always have been and zero indication there's any plan to change that. As for the tagging doesn't Apple tag your photos too?
    Nope. My pictures are imported into Lightroom and then edited with Photoshop. My shoot notes and how my LR catalogues are structured is all the 'tagging' I need. I tried having a number of photos auto tagged and it was useless. The locations were all wrong. It confused Tours Cathedral with Winchester Cathedral.  One is in France and the other is in England and the architectural styles are totally different.
    Most of the rest that were identified were wrong and many could not be tagged.
    Decided not to bother after that.
    Well of course if you aren't using Apple Photos then Apple Photos isn't tagging them. ;)

    FWIW I had always done pretty much the same as you, import into LR, tag'em, do some basic adjustments or cropping and then identify the ones I want to further edit in Photoshop or On1. The tagging part and organization for several thousand images is a pain as you know.

    Originally I only used Google Photos as a storage bucket for my cell-phone pics. Sometime last year I began using Google Photos as a backup for every image I added to LR or initially processed as RAW in DxO while continuing the traditional LR cataloging.  In the months since I've realized the auto-tagging and search that Google provides actually saving me a lot of headaches, time, and mistagging with it's much more forgiving search functions. As a result my quick goto when looking for a particular shot has become Google rather than LR. "Woman with yellow dress", "Brown dog", or "Red flowers in Clearwater" works quite well and much faster than trying to remember a specific LR tag. 
    I'm doing a similar thing but have only just started to upload sets of photos to Google. One thing to note, and you may already know this but others may not. If you are using the Optimize option of Google Photos to avoid paying extra, every photo is recompressed, not just the ones that are over the size limits. Unless they've updated their docs, they are a bit vague about that, and a lot of folks seem to think that only photos above the resolution limit are "optimized". But even if you are using the free Google Photos the optimized versions are still pretty good and serve as a fall-back should something happen to your master copies.

    If you have an Amazon Prime membership, it includes Prime Photos which does preserve your images as you upload them. The image file you upload is what you get back if you download it later. But Amazon's service is slow as molasses compared to Google. Ironically given Google's business strategy of sucking up every bit of data they can, Amazon does a little better job of making use of the metatdata already in your photos when you upload them. Google seems to ignore most of that info and instead rely on it's image recognition technology. (Neither does a stellar job of reading all the metadata and keywords I've added before uploading my photos and making use of it for searching or creating smart albums.)

    Since I already had an Amazon Prime membership, I upload my original, master copies of images to Amazon after metadata has been added. I know I can get that exact image file back from Amazon should I need to. Then after any edits (still using Aperture) they are uploaded to Google as optimized fall-back copies (as opposed to backup copies) and for sharing across my iDevices. Between these two independent online services, local Time Machine and remote (aka, the office) clones of my drive, it would take a spectacular series of failures to lose my pictures.
    Excellent mention about optimized saves. I use "original quality" on mine with a TB Google Cloud account, but I can foresee a time that those originals will require a bigger subscription if I continue to do so. 
    Yes, Amazon has desktop software or you can upload in a web browser, but I don't think there is a browser plug-in. With the software you can either use a sync folder that it creates in your user directory or an upload/download application you can open from a menu bar icon. I use the upload window for my photos, just drag and drop them on the window, select the destination folder on your Amazon cloud drive, and let it go to town. Even has controls to limit the bandwidth so it doesn't interfere (too much) with other people in the house trying to use the internet. 

    If I didn't already have Prime Photos for free with my Amazon Prime subscription, I probably would have just paid for the extra storage with Google to keep original quality. But I do like that I have both my originals (usually RAW) and edited copies (JPG) stored on two separate clouds. And it's not costing me any extra money.
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