Google is adding its Lens image search right into its home page, letting users access the advanced image recognition tool directly from the search box. The search giant first announced Lens at I/O 2017 and has since integrated it into several of its services, including Google Photos, Chrome and more. Now, as first noted by 9to5Google, the company is adding the visual search tool to the Google homepage.
The change is significant, according to Rajan Patel, a vice president of engineering at Google, who’s in charge of Search and Lens. In a tweet, Patel noted that the Google homepage doesn’t change often, but that the company wanted to expand the way users can ask questions. On the surface level, Google’s homepage is pretty similar to what it was many years ago, so any addition is noteworthy.
“The google homepage doesn’t change often, but today it did,” Patel wrote. “We’re always working to expand the kinds of questions you can ask and improving how we answer them. Now you can ask visual questions easily from your desktop.”
Once you click on the Lens button, the page will prompt you to upload an image or paste the URL of an image. After doing so, you will see a Lens results page. Although Google Images has allowed users to search similar photos, Lens goes a step beyond that by surfacing information about the photo, shopping results and more. Lens can also identify plant or animal species. You can also drag in images of text, after which Lens will digitize it and translate the text if it’s in a foreign language. The results page will be familiar to people who are used to the Lens app.
Google has been working to better integrate its visual search tools from Google Lens into its other products, and by adding it directly into its homepage, it’s introducing the tool to people who may have been unaware of it or just haven’t tried it yet.