Google Lens gets new features you're sure to use

Google Lens gets new features you're sure to use
Google today announced that it is adding new AI capabilities to Search. No, this has nothing to do with Google's disgraced Bard AI conversational chatbot. The first thing you need to understand is that AI is not new to Google Search.

As the company notes, "Since the early days of Search, AI has helped us with language understanding, making results more helpful. Over the years, we've deepened our investment in AI and can now understand information in its many forms — from language understanding to image understanding, video understanding and even understanding the real world. Today, we’re sharing a few new ways we’re applying our advancements in AI to make exploring information even more natural and intuitive."

Google Lens will now "search your screen"

So the first Google feature that we will talk about is Google Lens, which is an AI-powered search engine that uses your photos or live camera previews instead of words. Want to be surprised? Lens is used over 10 billion times each month. An update to Lens will be disseminated over the upcoming months that will allow Android users to "search your screen." After the update, you'll be able to use Lens to search photos and videos from websites and messaging and video apps without having to leave the app. Cool.

Google gives an example. "Say your friend sends you a message with a video of them exploring Paris. If you want to learn more about the landmark you spot in the background, you can simply long-press the power or home button on your Android phone (which invokes your Google Assistant) and then tap "search screen. Lens identifies it as Luxembourg Palace and you can click to learn more."

Google's multisearch allows users to search with Google Lens using text and pictures at the same time. Say you want to search for a particular item. In the Google app you tap the Lens icon on the right of the search bar located at the top of the display. Let's say you want to find out where you can buy Lindy's Homemade Italian Ice. So you take a photo of a container. But suppose you're looking for a particular flavor. Here's how you can add this information.

Multisearch will soon be available for local searches "near you"

After you snap the image the results partially appear on the bottom of the screen. Drag the tab holder up and you'll see the results of your Lens Search with a button on top that says "+Add to your search." Tap on that button and a field will appear where you can add text. In this case, we want to find Lindy's watermelon ice, so we type "watermelon" and tap the magnifying glass icon at the bottom right of the QWERTY (where "Enter" would normally be) and you'll have a more targeted result page.

Multisearch is available globally on mobile and in all languages and countries where you can use the Google Lens feature. But you can now search locally by adding the words "near me" to a Lens search to find what you want closer to you. This feature is available right now in English for U.S. users and is being added globally in the coming months. And even more exciting, in the coming months you'll be able to use multisearch on any image found on the mobile Google search results page.

Google once again gives an example. "For example, you might be searching for “modern living room ideas'' and see a coffee table that you love, but you’d prefer it in another shape — say, a rectangle instead of a circle. You’ll be able to use multisearch to add the text "rectangle" to find the style you’re looking for. We’re creating search experiences that are more natural and visual — but we’ve only scratched the surface. In the future, with the help of AI, the possibilities will be endless."

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