New Google Lens Redesign Puts The Viewfinder In The Back Seat

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When Google Lens first landed in 2017, Google put an emphasis on the ability to scan your environment with your phone. Since then, it’s had some changes but still kept to that same core mentality. Thanks to a new Google Lens redesign, however, we now know that the company may be shifting focus. This was spotted by 9to5Google.

The Google Lens redesign will shift focus to existing photos

Before the redesign, the live viewfinder would fill the screen. Accessing your existing pictures or screenshots would be a few taps away. Now, after the redesign, the viewfinder would take up only the top of the display. Immediately under that, you’ll see 8-12 of your most recent screenshots (it depends on the size of your display). Under that, you’ll see a section with all of your pictures.

With a simple upward swipe, you’ll be able to scroll through all of your pictures. If you want to use the viewfinder, you can swipe down to have it fill the screen. Even after the viewfinder fills the screen, you can easily get back to your pictures by either swiping up or tapping the icon next to the shutter button.


While in the viewfinder, you swipe left and right to switch to different modes like text, homework, translate, shopping, dining, places, and basic search.

This may all depend on how people use the app

It seems weird that Google would switch gears to accommodate screenshots. It might all depend on how users use the app. More people probably use the app to scan screenshots rather than analyse their environment (on a personal note, I can say that I definitly do).

This should be a breath of fresh air for those who prefer to use Lens for their existing pictures. There are times where people need to access Google Lens to scan their existing pictures, but it was always more taps away than necessary. Now, users are presented with more options when the app launches to quickly get to their pictures.


Google Lens has been implemented into a lot of Google services

Though Google Lens is referred to as its own platform, the underlying technology has been plugged into numerous Google services. Google brought it over to the web version of Google Photos. This makes it easier to move text from your phone to your computer. It used the text recognition to automatically scan and copy text.

The Google Translate app uses the same insane realtime translating technology that power Lens. When you tap on the camera option, you will be presented with a viewfinder that starts translating automatically. It’s clear that the AI technology behind the viewfinder is really powerful, but with the latest Google Lens redesign, it looks like people just aren’t using it as much as Google thought. It’s rolling out to users, so be sure to check the Play Store for any new updates.

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