Google Lens Rolls Out New Updates

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. recognition / ˌrɛk əgˈnɪʃ ən / (n) – the act of identifying someone or something based on appearance

    Many digital devices these days use fingerprint recognition for security purposes.

  2. come in handy / kʌm ɪn ˈhæn di / (idiom) – to be useful, especially in a particular situation

    These large boxes will come in handy when I move next month.

  3. hassle / ˈhæs əl / (n) – something that causes trouble or difficulty

    I moved to an apartment near my office to avoid the hassle of riding crowded subways.

  4. legible / ˈlɛdʒ ə bəl / (adj) – neat and easy to read

    Her handwriting is neat and legible.

  5. unveil / ʌnˈveɪl / (v) – to reveal something for the first time

    The company recently unveiled its new campaign.


Read the text below.

Google Lens, Google’s multipurpose image recognition program, recently launched an update that enables users to convert text on paper to a digitally editable version on a computer.

Previously, the program could only copy and paste editable text on smartphones. With the update, users can now paste editable text to a computer too.

The updated feature comes in handy when taking notes because users can avoid the hassle of manually typing text on a device.

To access the updated feature, users need to open the Google Lens app and point their smartphone’s camera at some text. Once they have dragged and highlighted the text, they need to select the “copy to computer” option and then paste the highlighted text to Google Docs on their activated computer device.

The updated feature will only work if the copied text is legible. In addition, both the smartphone and computer must have the latest version of Chrome and must be signed in to the same Google account.

Apart from launching the update for the copy-and-paste feature, Google also unveiled a pronunciation tool that can show foreign language learners how to say words and phrases correctly. This tool also works by scanning the text using Google Lens. Once the text is visible on the screen, the user can highlight it and tap the listen button to hear how it is pronounced. This feature supports more than 100 languages and will also be available on iOS devices soon.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Google Lens’ updated copy-and-paste feature will be useful in your daily life? Why or why not?
• What other functions should be added to Google Lens’ copy-and-paste and pronunciation tools (e.g. scanning drawings/diagrams, availability of all languages)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think people are losing the ability to write because of technology? Why or why not?
• What other skills do you think people are losing because of technology (e.g. social skills, critical thinking)? Discuss.