Google Photos is testing a new “Search” button for its Android app that will let users view photos and recognise faces. It is likely to replace the Lens button on the Photos app. As of now, users are required to tap a “Lens” icon in Google Photos to get more info about a particular subject in the photo. Google launched the Lens back in 2017 as a dedicated app but it was later turned into an integrated service.
According to a report by Android Police, the new generic “Search” button will scan the faces in a photo as well as do a reverse search for them in your Google Photos Library.
The search function will also offer Google Lens features like OCR text selection and identification of objects. You can also tap other items in the picture to get more information or context on them, as per the report.
While the button might appear interesting, these aren’t new features coming to Google Photos. You can already tap on the three-dot menu available in the top right corner of a photo and search for more images with the same people or faces in them. Currently, the new feature is being rolled out to selected users, according to the report. It is expected to be rolled out more widely in the coming months.
Back in September, Google announced that it was updating the Photos app with a revamped Memories feature, as part of a larger upgrade to Memories, which were first rolled out in 2019. The redesigned feature comes with a cleaner aesthetic, smoother vertical scroll gesture, which is aimed at making switching between AI-generated images easily.
Meanwhile, Cinematic Photos, the company’s AI-based feature that is designed to create 3D rendered representations of photos from users’ memories, was also updated by the company to transform multiple still images into an end-to-end cinematic experience, according to the company.