At the moment, the LG G7 offers the fastest way to access Google Lens through a dedicated hardware button. In comparison, the vast majority of users have to first bring up Assistant and then tap the camera icon. Google has now made it faster to launch Lens thanks to a new shortcut app.
The app essentially just adds an icon to your launcher and home screen which directly opens Google Lens and the recently revamped viewfinder interface with a bottom panel. At this point, all the features announced at I/O 2018 should be fully rolled out to all compatible Lens devices.
This includes real-time search thanks to on-device and cloud machine learning that can identify objects and mark them with dots that stay anchored as you move. When tapped, the result immediately loads. Meanwhile, with Smart Text Selection it is easier to select and copy results, while Style Match is useful when shopping for furniture and fashion.
The Play Store listing for the shortcut reiterates older features like learning more about places and getting details, as well as identifying plants and animals. Google Lens is available on most recent devices, including many flagships, and rolling out to older ones.
Compared to a similar Google Assistant shortcut app that is also available, the one for Lens is much more useful since Google’s visual search feature is always two steps away versus just a long press on the home button.