We’ve seen just about everything that Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will bring to the table in terms of hardware, but the software still hides a few mysteries. Now, it seems those are coming out, and one includes a neat Google Camera trick that integrates with Google Lens.

Google Lens already integrates with the camera app on Pixel devices, but it quite simply has a shortcut to launch what equates to a different viewfinder. That viewfinder also supports real-time results, but on the Google Pixel 3, things seem to be a bit different.

According to a video posted (and later removed) by Ishan Agarwal (via XDA-Developers), the Pixel 3 will support real-time results with Google Lens natively within the Google Camera application. A previous leak of the Pixel 3 XL hinted at “Google Lens suggestions” within the Google Camera app, and now we finally know exactly what that means.

As seen in the GIF below, it appears that the Pixel 3 will be able to process results for things Lens recognizes directly within the viewfinder. The demo shown here is a simple email address, but what’s notable is that the camera app immediately shows a prompt about the email address as soon as the business card is in view. No user interaction was required to bring that result on-screen beyond opening the camera app.

google lens real time pixel 3 camera

This was apparently found as part of the “Pixel Tips” app which will be available to explain Pixel features to new buyers. This app has been mentioned before in teardowns of Google applications, but details on it are still a bit unclear.

9to5Google’s Take

This isn’t anything groundbreaking, as many Android OEMs have been playing around with similar AI-tricks within the camera’s viewfinder in recent years. However, this is a big step forward for Google Lens. Natively integrating it into the Camera application in this method, I think, makes it infinitely more useful. The subtle implementation doesn’t get in the way, and it definitely improves the process of accessing results from Lens.

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Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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