Google Lens tests a new “Education” mode for homework help and prepares to add offline translation support
Google Lens is Google’s image recognition service that delivers information from Google search based on whatever you’re pointing your camera at. Last May, Google redesigned the Android version of the service by splitting the UI into 5 different scanning modes: Translate, Text, Search, Shopping, and Dining. In version 188.8.131.52 of the Google App, the app that contains the Lens service, we discovered that Google is working on a sixth service: Education. We also learned that Google is preparing to allow you to use Lens’ Translate mode while offline.
New strings in Google App 184.108.40.206 reveal that you’ll be able to download language packs so you can translate text using Lens without an Internet connection. The strings do not reveal which languages will be supported, but you’ll likely be able to download most of the languages that Google Lens already supports. Notably, the Google Translate app supports offline translation in its “Camera” mode, which is functionally very similar to the Translate mode in Lens.
<string name="lens_translate_cancel_language_pack_download_dialog">Cancel download of the %1$s offline package?</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_cancel_language_pack_no">No</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_cancel_language_pack_yes">Yes</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_download_language_pack_dialog">Translate even when you are offline by downloading the %1$s translation file (%2$s)</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_download_language_pack_dialog_title">Translate %1$s offline</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_download_language_pack_tooltip">Tap to download offline translations</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_download_language_pack_yes">Download</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_remove_language_pack_dialog">If you remove this offline translation file, this language will be unavailable for offline translation.</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_remove_language_pack_yes">Remove</string>\n<string name="lens_translate_space_remaining_dialog">%1$s storage available</string>
Next up is a new “Education” mode that we managed to briefly surface. The description for this “Education” mode informs the user to “point at [a] homework question to get help.” We weren’t able to test this feature, sadly, but a brief analysis at the Google App’s code reveals you’ll be able to use the Education mode to scan math problems. We don’t know if Education mode will support complex math problems, though.
You can download the latest version of the Google Lens service by grabbing the latest beta version of the Google App. The Lens application from the Google Play Store is simply a shortcut to launch the service rather than a standalone app.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.