New Google Photos search button replaces Lens

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Google has done a lot of work integrating Lens into many of its services. One of the most sensible integrations is with Google Photos. However, the company may replace Google Lens with a new search button in Google Photos.

Google unveiled Google Lens back during Google I/O 2017. Since then, the company changed it from being a dedicated app into an integrated service. It’s been plugged into Google Photos and even the Chrome browser.

It’s a useful and powerful AI tool that scans photos or the image in your viewfinder to give you more context on what you’re seeing. If you use Lens on a picture of a phone, it will show you search results for that device. It’s like a Google search bar for the real world.


Google Photos may replace Lens with a search button

Right now, we don’t know too much about this change. It was discovered by a select group of Google Photos users (via Android Police). This points to Google doing a very limited test of this feature to see how people react to it.

When you go into Google Photos, you will usually see a Lens icon on the bottom toolbar. However, with this change, you’ll see a generic search button. When you tap on the button, it will start scanning the picture for faces.

This isn’t new, as Google Photos had this functionality before. In order to access this, you would have to tap on the three-dot menu on the top right. Along with the information on the picture, it will show you the people in the photo. This new search button in Google Photos acts like a shortcut to this functionality.


However, it doesn’t mean that Google Photos is getting rid of the Lens functionality. When you tap on this search button, you’re still able to access Lens by tapping on the object in the picture you want to search. So, while the software is recognizing your friend’s face, you can still tap on their phone to see what kind of phone they have.

At the moment, we don’t really know if Google plans on distributing this feature to more people. All we know is that it’s probably testing this amongst a limited selection of users. In order to check if you have this feature in, search for Google Photos on the Google Play store and see if there’s an update available.