Google Lens Could Be Easier To Access Soon, Appears In Search Widget

01 7 OnePlus Nord N10 5G hands on preview AH DG 2021

Google Lens could soon appear on the home screen search widget, recent reports suggest. For clarity, that’s the oval-shaped widget that appears on most Android phones’ home screens. It’s typically, but not always, white in hue and used for searching both on-device and online.

Prior to the change, only two icons appeared in that search widget. Namely, those are either the Google logo or the full word “Google” logo and a mic icon. Now, a camera-shaped lens icon — bearing the Google logo colors — is appearing for some users. That’s positioned directly to the right-hand side of the mic-icon. Which itself is located on the right-hand side of the widget.

What is Google Lens and how is it better in the widget than not?

Google Lens, of course, is Google’s AI-vision tool. It’s primarily used to recognize things that the camera is pointed at, whether that’s an object or text. From there, it can provide translations, assist in searches for a product, plant, or animal, and a lot more. Up until this point, though, it’s been placed primarily in the Google Photos app. Or directly in Google Assistant, when that’s launched by voice or by touch.


By placing Lens in the Search widget, Google is effectively pushing it front and center. Right alongside its other search tools. That will make the feature easier to find. And easier to introduce to users who may not be aware of it. As more users pick up on and use Google Lens, updates and improvements to the tool will be more prominent. At least in terms of user visibility.

This may not show up for you any time soon

As of this writing, the new widget icon isn’t appearing for all users though. And it doesn’t appear to be linked to any specific version of the Google app or any other apps either. So it is likely still under very limited testing for now.

Google Lens search bar widget from Android Police