Google has now released a full integration between Lens and Gboard in the latest beta build for the keyboard, sources report. What that means for end-users is that Lens can now be accessed via the three-dot menu at the right-hand side of the suggestion strip.
Tapping on the Lens icon found there loads up the full app. So there's not much, at first glance, that's different about the functionality. But the app can be moved to the shortcut bar with a tap-and-drag, just as any other Gboard feature found in the overflow menu.
The update also seems to allow Lens to do a bit more after that's been opened from Gboard. Not least of all, it opens directly to the text detection tool in the app. That's typically allowed users to highlight text on real-world objects and then copy it. The text can also be read aloud, translated, or used as a search term.
So what's new with the new Google Lens and Gboard integration
The biggest new feature being delivered via Google Lens integration with Gboard though is the ability to automatically copy and paste the text. After opening Lens via Gboard and selecting the text, the tool now shows an option to "Send to keyboard."
That appears along the bottom, alongside the other options mentioned above. And tapping on the option automatically places the selected text into the most recent text field that was active. That makes it easier than ever to select text from the real-world and automatically share it via a text message. Conversely, that text could also be sent to a note-keeping app or any other apps with text fields.
This is a beta feature, for now, but not limited to Android 11
Initially, the incoming change was thought to only be available in Android 11. But it is also appearing for some users in the current version, Android 10. The only apparent requisite to that is that it's confined to the Beta variant of the Gboard app. So users will need to visit the app's Google Play Store page and scroll to the bottom to enroll in the beta if they want access now.