One of the more exciting announcements from Google I/O 2017 was Google Lens, an upcoming feature for Assistant. The general idea is that Assistant would look at your phone’s camera feed, and try to pull context information from it. Imagine Google Goggles, but using the company’s incredible machine learning prowess.
While we’re still waiting for the feature to go live in Assistant, we noticed in a teardown that it was being added to Google Photos. So in addition to using a straight feed from your camera, you could use Lens with any picture you’ve already taken as well. XDA Developers discovered that the Google Lens intent was already live, and could be activated through the use of ADB or Tasker. So with a little bit of work, it’s possible to try out Lens with photos stored locally. And I have to say, I’m pretty impressed.
Shortly after this post went live, Lens completely stopped working (no info appears below pictures). So following these instructions won’t actually get you anywhere.
While you can activate it using Tasker with the Content Provider Helper, I think it’s much easier to do it through ADB. If you don’t already have ADB installed, you can follow our instructions from this post. Once you get your phone connected (and get Photos v3.5 installed), just transfer a picture to your phone’s storage with this command:
adb push /path/to/picture/on/your/computer /sdcard/test.jpg
If you don’t want to type out the full path to a picture on your computer, there’s a much easier way (at least on Windows and Mac, I haven’t tested this on Linux). Type in “adb push ” (without the quotes, but including the space at the end), then drag the picture into the command line window. This should paste the file’s full path, so you don’t have to type it. Then type