Google Lens finally comes to the web — but there's a catch

Pixel 4a Alex Google Lens
Pixel 4a Alex Google Lens (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Lens is finally available on thw web inside Google Photos.
  • Optical character recognition (OCR) is currently the only Google Lens capability that is available in the web version of Photos.
  • It is likely that Google will be adding more Lens capabilities to the web version of Photos in the near future.

Google Lens, which is one of the company's best Android apps, is finally available on the web. As spotted by 9to5Google, Google Lens is now live within the Google Photos web client.

You can now access Google Lens' optical character recognition (OCR) feature on the web to copy text from images. When you open an image that contains a text in the Google Photos web client, you will see the "Copy text from image" suggestion with the Lens logo and a dismiss button next to controls such as Share and Edit.

When you tap on the suggestion, Google Lens will show you all the text included in the image in a panel on the right side of the screen, with the alt text selected by default. The "Deselect text" option on the top-right corner lets you select specific text from the image. To copy the selected text, all you need to do is click on the floating "Copy" button over the image. However, the web version doesn't feature a button to activate text selection manually. While OCR is currently the only Google Lens capability available in the web version of Photos right now, more capabilities will probably be added in the coming months.

Until now, Lens was exclusive to mobile. In addition to the dedicated app, some Google Lens features can be accessed on Android via Google Image Search and the Chrome browser as well.

Babu Mohan
News Writer