Google Lens takes a back seat in the latest Pixel camera update
What you need to know
- Google’s version 8.7.250 camera app update hides the Lens feature.
- Google Lens can no longer be activated by holding down the viewfinder, doing so will prompt a “Google lens has moved to modes” message.
- The Modes folder can be found at the end of the far right section of the bottom scrolling menu.
Google’s latest camera update seems to have introduced extra steps for users who want to enable Lens.
As spotted by Android Police, Google’s most recent update to its camera app on Pixels moved its Lens feature to the road. We noticed the recent change on our Pixel 7, which removed the lens shortcut from the camera app’s viewfinder. Typically, this can be activated fairly easily by holding down the viewfinder for a second or so before the app brings up Google Lens.
After updating to the latest version (8.7.250), long-pressing the viewfinder from the camera app will give you a toast message that says, “Google Lens has moved to modes.”
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This change is an odd one, considering how common Google Lens has become throughout the company’s ecosystem. Google Lens appears on the company’s search widget bar on many Android phones, on Chrome for desktop computers and (formerly) through the camera app. This feature is an easy way for users to quickly search for something they’ve seen without spending the time to type it in manually.
Now it feels like we’ve gone back a bit by having it hidden away in the Modi section of the camera app. It’s accessible via the side scrolling menu at the bottom of the camera app. Users can now find Lens secretly hidden in this mini application folder at the right end of the menu. You could make the argument that Lens isn’t exactly a mode, more of a feature, a way to search with ease. Unfortunately, you can’t drag and drop these modes into your camera carousel like you can on other devices.
Android Police also found that even after enabling Lens, you’ll still need to tap the shutter button to let it know you’re ready to go on your image search.
Google started rolling out this update last week, which introduced better controls over Pixel phones’ macro lens. Users can now decide how they want to take detailed close-up photos by having the lens automatically activate, tapping the “on” button to keep it active, or “off” to disable the feature. This update also removes the user’s ability to decide how its double-tap function works.
The camera app update also came three days after Google’s December feature dropped for Pixel devices. This patch included the free Google One VPN for the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro, along with speaker tags for the recorder app.
With the Google Pixel 7 Pro, you can step into the world and keep a little bit of it in your pocket, too. The 7 Pro is packed with all of Google’s helpfulness in using Maps and its 48MP primary lens to survey landmarks and find a place to eat.