In addition to real-time Lens lookup and a redesign, Google announced at I/O 2018 that the visual search feature is coming directly to third-party camera apps. The Google Camera app for the Pixel and Pixel 2 is now the latest client to be updated with quick access to Google Lens.
Google Lens in the Google Camera app is just another mode like AR Stickers, Portrait, or Slow Motion. As such, it’s accessible in the navigation drawer as the second to last menu item, just above settings.
After tapping, the Lens icon briefly appears before opening the same Lens experiences accessible from Assistant. Users can tap anywhere on the screen to begin a search, with results loading in the panel below that features a microphone icon to launch voice search.
This “camera mode” implementation is similar to that of other manufacturers, including LG, Sony, and Motorola, that already added Lens integration. Pressing the back button will quickly return users to the live camera viewfinder to snap a picture
Lens in Google Camera is available for the Pixel and Pixel 2. The last update to Google Camera in March revamped settings and introduce the ability to customize the double-tap gesture.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Google Lens gained a shortcut app with homescreen icon for direct access instead of having to first launch the Assistant panel.
Version 5.2.025 of Google Camera is rolling out now via the Play Store.