Google Lens recently got a nice, new update on the desktop Chrome browser that expands its functionality from just recognizing images across the web to also recognizing and translating text. This new update brings the desktop version more on par with its mobile counterpart, where this functionality has already been available for a while.
As reported by Android Police, before the update, when right-clicking on an image on a webpage and selecting “Search images with Google Lens,” the results opened a new two-paned lens.google.com/search browser tab with the searched image on the left and the results on the right, taking your focus away from the original page where you initiated the search.
This new update provides expanded functionality by opening a Google Lens sidebar right on the original page where you can toggle between image search, OCR text search, and translate. All of this happens without having to open a new browser tab and keeping you on the same page where you started.
Being able to switch between the search, text, and translate options is not exactly new functionality on the Chrome browser. I was already able to do this both on ChromeOS and macOS last month when I wrote this guide to identifying images in Chrome using Google Lens, however, the fact that it now loads the results in the same tab makes this more obvious. Keep in mind that I have not been able to replicate this same-tab behavior on ChromeOS Beta 101, but I can on macOS Chrome. Because of this, it appears that the new functionality is still rolling out, and it is not account-specific.
I am excited to see Google taking such a proactive approach when it comes to bringing core mobile features, such as Google Lens, to the Chrome browser. With the proliferation of remote and now “hybrid” workplaces, more users and now looking to replicate the mobile experience onto their day-to-day work machines. This brings us one step closer.