Google adds Google Lens as a reverse image search option in Chrome

Google adds Google Lens as a reverse image search option in Chrome

Update 1 (8/22/19 @ 08:43 PM EST): Google has merged the commit responsible for showing the “Search with Google Lens” context menu item. A screenshot of this new option is shown in the update below.

What used to only be a tool for Internet sleuths is now fairly mainstream thanks to services like Google Lens. Reverse image searching, or searching the web for the source of an image, is fairly easy to do on Google Images, but Google Lens takes things a step further by letting you isolate parts of an image or recognize text, barcodes, and other key items in an image. Lens is available through a shortcut in the Google Assistant and Google Photos apps, but it’s also available through Google Images on the web if you’re browsing on mobile. Now, it seems that Google will be adding a shortcut to Lens in Google Chrome for Android.

The other day, I spotted a commit in the Chromium Gerrit titled “Add support for intenting to Google Lens from the context menu.” Once merged, opening the context menu for any image in Google Chrome for Android will show a “Search with Google Lens” option in place of “Search Google for this image.” Tapping on the new option will send an intent with the selected image to Lens. You can do this now by tapping on “share image” and then selecting Lens in the share sheet, but this new feature will make the Lens option more prominent so you can reserve the share button for other actions.

Google Chrome image context menu

Google Chrome’s context menu for images shown in Kiwi Browser, a Chromium-based browser.

Once the commit is merged, we’ll be able to see this feature in action in the latest Chrome Canary builds.

Update 1: “Search with Google Lens” Now Available

The commit was merged tonight, so I grabbed a screenshot of the updated context menu with the new option. Here’s what it looks like.

Search with Google LensTo enable, simply search for “Lens” in chrome://flags once the flag becomes available in your particular Chrome channel. Currently, it’s only available in Chromium nightly builds.

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