Google recently refreshed its Camera app with version 8.7.250 update on Pixel smartphones. This big camera update first came to the Pixel 7 Pro and later to the older Pixels. While it added a slew of new features to the devices, it also made it much harder to access the Lens directly from the camera app. Gone is the option to long-press on the viewfinder to activate Google Lens. The function is still available from the camera app, but it now takes extra taps to access it.
Android Police first reported this change in how Pixel users will interact with Google Lens. You will have to swipe along the bottom carousel to the rightmost end to find it. Now, when you try the old way to access Lens by long-press the viewfinder, you will witness a message telling you that “Google lens has moved to Modes.” Do note that only folks with the newest Google Camera app update installed on their Pixel phone will see this change.
You need to scroll through Video and Cinematic to access Modes, where the Lens option sits next to Panorama and Photo Sphere. For many people, it probably won’t be a big deal that Google Lens’ shortcut moved from the viewfinder to the Modes area, but it will take a little longer to access the feature and would require some getting used to if you had a habit of accessing it from the viewfinder.
The dedicated app for the visual search features is still accessible, and the search giant hasn’t removed the Google Lens option from the Search widget either. This tool debuted in 2017, and since then, it has got better at scanning photos and providing relevant search results based on it. Though now it’s a little less accessible, it’s still pretty handy.