Google made some big changes to Lens at its I/O conference last year by turning your phone’s camera into a powerful search tool. With one of the key features, you can point your camera at a restaurant menu and it will highlight the most popular dishes and even translate menu items. Now Google has made this feature much more useful in Google Maps by smartly searching for menu photos taken by restaurant customers, 9to5Google reported.
For example, if you search for “restaurants” in Maps, Google will present a list of them in your neighborhood, along with the usual “menu” overlay. When tapped, it displays photos taken by customers (if available) along with a suggestion bullet labeled “explore dishes”. Tapping it brings up Google Lens, which displays a list of highlighted and starred dishes gleaned from reviews.
Tapping on a given item will show you the dish, along with photos taken by customers as well. You can then choose to search for that dish to see what it’s about, or use Google Translate to view it in your native language.
The feature shows how Google is starting to connect multiple features and apps to improve user experience. It allows you to go from a restaurant search in Maps to Lens, which in turn relies on user photos and reviews information from Maps. It can then automatically open Translate if needed. The “explore dishes” feature started rolling out to Android last night, so it should be coming to your own smartphone in due course.
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