While there was no I/O this year, Google still launched a number of new features for its visual search tool in May. Google is now working on a Lens redesign for Android that adds several new capabilities.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Google Lens was last redesigned at I/O 2019 with a set of filters that users have to deliberately select from. These modes help educate people on what Lens can do and provide a more focused experience.
The upcoming Google Lens redesign that we enabled today has a more compact interface where only the current filter shows an icon that doubles as the shutter. Modes are now displayed as a text-only carousel at the very bottom of the screen. This UI is somewhat reminiscent of the Google Camera app on Pixel phones given the rounded corners of the viewfinder and the swipeable filter picker.
Meanwhile, to the left of the capture button is a new gallery icon that lets you import an existing photo for analysis. This early design we enabled still has that icon in the top-right corner.
In terms of functionality, the Translate mode is adding support for offline translations, just like the full app and its “Instant” camera. You’ll be prompted to download language packs to use Lens when not connected to data.
Meanwhile, we get our first glimpse at a “Homework” filter that we previously discovered can be used to take pictures of math problems and return a solution. A square viewfinder will let you focus so that just the equation is captured. This is similar to Google’s Socratic app, while Lens in the latest Google app beta continues work towards this mode by adding a dedicated math symbols keyboard:
<string name=”keyboard_add_row_description”>Add row to system of equations</string>
<string name=”keyboard_cosh_description”>Insert hyperbolic cosine</string>
<string name=”keyboard_degree_description”>Insert degree symbol</string>
<string name=”keyboard_derivative_var_description”>Insert derivative with custom variable</string>
<string name=”keyboard_e_description”>”Insert Euler’s number”</string>
<string name=”keyboard_fraction_description”>Insert fraction</string>
<string name=”keyboard_inf_description”>Insert infinity symbol</string>
<string name=”keyboard_log_description”>Insert a logarithm</string>
The last addition is a “Places” filter. This functionality already lets you point at a building to see business listings with hours, reviews, and other contact details. In breaking this out into its own separate filter, Google is bringing more attention to the capability.
This Google Lens redesign looks to still be under development as it lacks branding, flash, and other polish.
Dylan Roussel contributed to this article
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