The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have nifty new software features that are making the rest of the Android community jealous.
Google Lens is one such feature. It’s available in Google Photos in the new Pixel 2 smartphones – although it’s not yet available on any other Android.
Google Lens is a popular Pixel 2 feature that uses Google’s machine learning technology to scan images, then bring up relevant information about those images. One Reddit user showed how Google Lens identified the breed of his cat, for example (it was an Egyptian Mau).
Fortunately for rooted Android users, you can get Google Lens today. After a few failed attempts, XDA Developers posted a tutorial explaining how to enable Google Lens in Google Photos – although you’ll need a rooted Android to do it.
What is Google Lens and How Does It Work?
Google Lens lets you point your camera at an object – or use an existing image – to analyze it. Google Lens – via Google Assistant – will analyze whatever it sees.
At Google’s I/O event earlier this year, the company showed how Google Lens could identify the type of flowers it’s looking at in a garden, for example.
In a far cooler use case, Google Lens allowed users to point their phone camera at a restaurant to see information like recent reviews, or scan a Wi-Fi network sticker to automatically connect to a network.
Ultimately, Google Lens was compared to Google Goggles by many people – although it’s a significant improvement on the idea.
Google Lens is specifically designed to analyze a wide range of objects – including everything from landmarks to buildings to video games. The full list of working items in the apk file includes barcodes, books, buildings, landmarks, media covers, movies, music albums, paintings, places, points of interest, statues, video games, and more.
Google Lens can also be used to automatically add information from a photo. You can use it to add contacts from a business card, for example, or to translate languages. You can take a picture of a barcode to look up product information, or take a picture of an animal to learn animal facts.
How to Add Google Lens to Google Photos Today
If you’re jealous of Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users, then I have good news for you. XDA Developers has managed to add Google Lens to non-Pixel 2 phones. The method involves tricking the Google Photos app into thinking your phone is a Pixel 2.
To do that, you need to add files to /system/etc/sysconfig. These files are only found on the Pixel 2. When the Google Photos app sees those files, it thinks your phone is a Pixel 2, so you can use all Google Photos features.
Here’s the step by step process:
Step 1) Download the flashable zip file found in this thread, made by XDA Developers Forum member ZeevoX
Step 2) Reboot into TWRP Recovery
Step 3) Flash the zip file in recovery
Step 4) Boot back into Android, then open up Google Photos
Using this method, you don’t even need to clear app data from Google Photos. The app should be working – including with full Google Lens support – after following the four steps above.