A little over a year ago, Google Assistant replaced the “What’s on my screen?” option. A short button branded with Lens which can now be replaced with ‘Search this screen’.
Compared to “what’s on my screen”, the “lens” button doesn’t appear every time the Google Assistant is called. It appears in Chrome and Twitter (along with “Read”), but the availability has been exceeded or lost in third-party apps. As such, it can’t be used reliably for visual searches or OCR for convenient transcription, although you can use the Android Recents menu as an alternative.
According to a report today, a “Search on this screen” button appears in the Google Assistant on Android. It’s branded the Lens, though with the old icon, the main difference from what came before is how this button consistently appears everywhere, regardless of the app or context. A tap should capture the current screen and allow you to access the Subtitle, Text, Search, Homework, Shopping, Places, and Eating filters.
current vs new u/andyooo
The new Lens screen search button in the Assistant hasn’t been released widely yet, and so far it has appeared for a single Pixel 6 Pro owner running the Google app 184.108.40.206. We don’t see it on many Pixel phones and third-party devices we checked today. Hopefully Google will roll out this alternative as it’s better than the current approach, and will help increase Lens usage.
Recently, Google has been pushing Lens. For example, I’ve seen bus stop ads asking you to “find this thing” using Lens, which is paired with the “Find what you see” tagline.
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