Google's AI-powered Google Lens rolls out on iOS

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 2018
Google in a tweet on Thursday said its Google Lens visual search feature will roll out to iOS devices over the coming week as part of update to the company's Google Photos app.




Announced in a post to the official Google Photos Twitter account, Lens started rolling out to iOS users today in the app's latest version 3.15. The release is available for some users now and will be accessible to all comers within a week, Google said.

Building on artificial intelligence and computer vision technology developed in part for Google Goggles, Lens is a visual search tool that integrates Google Assistant assets to recognize objects in live and previously captured images.

Shown off at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, Lens can distinguish flower types, parse text from business cards, pull up restaurant reviews, create calendar entries and more.

For example, pointing a smartphone camera at a historical monument will trigger Assistant to retrieve details on the site, which appear in an onscreen overlay. Alternatively, aiming Lens at a business card or photograph can trigger a procedure that allows users to create a new phonebook contact.

Subsequent twitter posts today offer tips on how to best take advantage of Lens. Users can learn more about landmarks by tapping on the Lens icon, for example, or copy and take action on text seen in a photo. Text prompts can be used to navigate to websites, get directions, add events to a calendar, call phone numbers and more. Google also presents the option of pointing Lens at a book cover to find online reviews and synopses.

Initially available on Pixel devices, the feature made its way to Android devices through Google Assistant in the Google Photos app last week. At the time, Google said iOS support would be coming soon, but failed to detail a specific launch timeline.

Apple does not currently market visual search functionality in Siri, though the Photos app does boast image recognition features capable of distinguishing people, objects and locations. The iPhone maker also introduced image recognition capabilities into ARKit 1.5, allowing developers to build out features like interactive movie posters and book covers.

Google Photos is a free 212.1MB download from the iOS App Store.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,390member
    I’ll wait for Apple to offer similar capabilities outside of photos (which is pretty capable I’ve found). Would love it if they would buy CamCard or some similar app.
    edited March 2018 Avieshekwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 16
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 449member
    Another way for Google to track somebody.
    mac_dogAvieshekdewmewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 16
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,070member
    I do think Apple is already developing something similar in their labs. Apple won't reveal anything that is not ready for consumers, and they certainly will wait for this one to mature.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 16
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,373member
    I guess that Google had to release this on iOS so it actually got used.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 16
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 671member
    kevin kee said:
    I do think Apple is already developing something similar in their labs. Apple won't reveal anything that is not ready for consumers, and they certainly will wait for this one to mature.
    I sure hope you are right. Between this and Microsoft Seeing AI, Apple seems to have a big gap now. Seeing AI on iOS is really very good.  It recognizes just about everything pretty well  it will also guess the sex, age, and mood (yes, really!) of people in a picture.  My wife hates that it guesses her age quite accurately and sometimes thinks I’m younger than I am. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,155member
    macseeker said:
    Another way for Google to track somebody.
    Exactly. If Google can recognize landmarks, monuments, unique works of art, etc., they are able to effectively pinpoint your location without needing location information from the phone. If they can infer your age, weight, fashion preferences, skin condition, grooming habits, emotional state, vision health, dental health, personal associates, etc., they can sell all that data (even if anonymized and aggregated) to allow other firms to target market products at you and others in your demographic and geographic space based on what they infer from the collected data. That's the thing with Google, they give you all these "free" tools which are essentially data acquisition and telemetry products so they can collect additional high fidelity metadata that can be used to help them sell more ads and make more money for themselves off of you. You are the raw material for fabricating their products - which are ad sales. Google can maintain a clear conscience by rationalizing that you are being compensated by having access to their "free" apps. If you're happy being part of Google's product and revenue model - no problem. But it ain't free and you are getting the stinky side of the deal.
    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,101member
    dewme said:
    macseeker said:
    Another way for Google to track somebody.
    Exactly. If Google can recognize landmarks, monuments, unique works of art, etc., they are able to effectively pinpoint your location without needing location information from the phone. If they can infer your age, weight, fashion preferences, skin condition, grooming habits, emotional state, vision health, dental health, personal associates, etc., they can sell all that data (even if anonymized and aggregated) to allow other firms to target market products at you and others in your demographic and geographic space based on what they infer from the collected data.
    They don't sell data, anonymized or not. They place online ads for companies ranging from Apple to Zulily. If they sold the data the advertisers wouldn't need Google. A bit of common sense goes a long ways. ;)

    You should worry more about what your investment firm, banker, credit card provider, pharmacist and insurer, newspaper/magazine company, and favorite retailer are sharing and in many cases outright selling about you personally, and how securely your personal financial information and intimate personal/family dynamics are protected by the likes of Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

    Google places ads. They're not a data broker, and you're not for sale...
    but at Experion and 10's of thousands of other data brokers large and small you sure are. 
    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 8 of 16
    FolioFolio Posts: 634member
    So wow, can I point phone at a random person and have Google Lens flag any job or credit issues, whether she's has steady relationships, if she tells more than white lies, hates cats, eats well, might make a good match, etc.?

    Maybe five years from now.... ;-0


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 16
    kevin kee said:
    I do think Apple is already developing something similar in their labs. Apple won't reveal anything that is not ready for consumers, and they certainly will wait for this one to mature.
    Like Siri, the pointless LoAI assistant that doesn't know if it's coming or going. Apple constantly releases product features way before they have developed into a firm concept. The history of Apple is strewn with cancelled products they tried to foist on a bemused and frustrated audience. Having been a customer of Apple since the mid 70's I've seen many premature births which didn't live long enough to attend a first birthday party.
  • Reply 10 of 16
    FolioFolio Posts: 634member

    gatorguy said:
     If they sold the data the advertisers wouldn't need Google. A bit of common sense goes a long ways. ;)

    You should worry more about what your investment firm, banker, credit card provider, pharmacist and insurer, newspaper/magazine company, and favorite retailer are sharing and in many cases outright selling about you personally, and how securely your personal financial information and intimate personal/family dynamics are protected by the likes of Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Google places ads. They're not a data broker, and you're not for sale...
    but at Experion and 10's of thousands of other data brokers large and small you sure are. 
    Yahoo's sale shows how reliable ownership is of your private data. Actually in that respect it's some ways its more reassuring that financial behemoth's like Google are custodians as they less likely to sell it. And if they start grossly abusing their data they are big enough target that EU will step in and make a fuss, if not US media or US watchdogs.

    Yes, Google has moderated their gmail data scraping (no longer scouring internal content they state). One of these popcorn surveys not long ago, which I cannot cite, surprised me in that folks saw little difference in trusting Google, Amazon, or Apple. Lately Amazon-- Whole Foods, Echo, media viewing book reading habits, and pushing credit card offerings-- seems most aggressive nowadays.

    If the NSA, Putin, or the People's Republic of China envied the data collection and analytic abilities of a firm, it might well be Amazon, even more than Google or Facebook. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 16
    Brain-dead 'Google Photos' app for iOS **STILL** cannot tell when the iPhone screen-setting is inverted (nighttime view) so it shows all photos with the pictures/colors inverted. I'll wait for something better.
    edited March 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 16
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 357member
    Why on Apple, aren’t Google has the worlds largest installed base in the world?? They don’t need apple eco systems....hehe wondering why
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,101member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    Why on Apple, aren’t Google has the worlds largest installed base in the world?? They don’t need apple eco systems....hehe wondering why
    Google is platform agnostic. Their primary service is search used by folks across all connected platforms, and supported by ad placement income. Android was simply their buttress against being blocked in the mobile space, and came well after Google was already successful. 
    singularity
  • Reply 14 of 16
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,396member
    cornchip said:
    I’ll wait for Apple to offer similar capabilities outside of photos (which is pretty capable I’ve found). Would love it if they would buy CamCard or some similar app.
    I stopped using CamCard after reports of it being infected by XcodeGhost. Is it confirmed to be „clean“ again?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 16
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,155member
    gatorguy said:
    dewme said:
    macseeker said:
    Another way for Google to track somebody.
    Exactly. If Google can recognize landmarks, monuments, unique works of art, etc., they are able to effectively pinpoint your location without needing location information from the phone. If they can infer your age, weight, fashion preferences, skin condition, grooming habits, emotional state, vision health, dental health, personal associates, etc., they can sell all that data (even if anonymized and aggregated) to allow other firms to target market products at you and others in your demographic and geographic space based on what they infer from the collected data.
    They don't sell data, anonymized or not. They place online ads for companies ranging from Apple to Zulily. If they sold the data the advertisers wouldn't need Google. A bit of common sense goes a long ways. ;)

    You should worry more about what your investment firm, banker, credit card provider, pharmacist and insurer, newspaper/magazine company, and favorite retailer are sharing and in many cases outright selling about you personally, and how securely your personal financial information and intimate personal/family dynamics are protected by the likes of Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

    Google places ads. They're not a data broker, and you're not for sale...
    but at Experion and 10's of thousands of other data brokers large and small you sure are. 
    Semantics. Google sells ads and those ads are of value to advertisers because they are baked with high-value user data that Google gleans from its "free" apps and services. In other words, Google is selling cookies and your data is the sugar in the cookies. Without the "sugar" their cookies would significantly less attractive to their customers, so they are effectively selling sugar, your data, because it's an essential ingredient in their product. I do agree that other companies like banks, credit card companies, cellular service providers, cable TV providers, and consumer data services like the Equifax scumbags are selling your raw data directly rather than baking it into a portfolio of advertising products. This latter group isn't even giving you any swag for your personal data and are also subjecting you to heinous security breaches due to their weapons-grade incompetence. Not that I totally trust Google, but I cannot imagine them ever committing the kind of security offense that Equifax has already committed.
  • Reply 16 of 16
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,101member
    dewme said:
    gatorguy said:
    dewme said:
    macseeker said:
    Another way for Google to track somebody.
    Exactly. If Google can recognize landmarks, monuments, unique works of art, etc., they are able to effectively pinpoint your location without needing location information from the phone. If they can infer your age, weight, fashion preferences, skin condition, grooming habits, emotional state, vision health, dental health, personal associates, etc., they can sell all that data (even if anonymized and aggregated) to allow other firms to target market products at you and others in your demographic and geographic space based on what they infer from the collected data.
    They don't sell data, anonymized or not. They place online ads for companies ranging from Apple to Zulily. If they sold the data the advertisers wouldn't need Google. A bit of common sense goes a long ways. ;)

    You should worry more about what your investment firm, banker, credit card provider, pharmacist and insurer, newspaper/magazine company, and favorite retailer are sharing and in many cases outright selling about you personally, and how securely your personal financial information and intimate personal/family dynamics are protected by the likes of Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

    Google places ads. They're not a data broker, and you're not for sale...
    but at Experion and 10's of thousands of other data brokers large and small you sure are. 
    Semantics. Google sells ads and those ads are of value to advertisers because they are baked with high-value user data that Google gleans from its "free" apps and services. In other words, Google is selling cookies and your data is the sugar in the cookies. Without the "sugar" their cookies would significantly less attractive to their customers, so they are effectively selling sugar, your data, because it's an essential ingredient in their product. I do agree that other companies like banks, credit card companies, cellular service providers, cable TV providers, and consumer data services like the Equifax scumbags are selling your raw data directly rather than baking it into a portfolio of advertising products. This latter group isn't even giving you any swag for your personal data and are also subjecting you to heinous security breaches due to their weapons-grade incompetence. Not that I totally trust Google, but I cannot imagine them ever committing the kind of security offense that Equifax has already committed.
    We're pretty close to being on the same page now. 
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