Chrome will soon do Google Lens image searches without leaving a page

Google Lens, the search giant’s powerful image recognition software, is becoming slightly less cumbersome to use within the Chrome browser on desktop. Currently, if you want to use Lens on an image on a website, the browser opens a page of results in a new tab. But in the future, the browser will instead show results in a panel to the right of a webpage. Only when you want to find an image’s source will Chrome open a new browser tab.

The search giant’s image recognition software has long been available on mobile, where it’s accessible via Google’s apps on iOS or the native camera app on some Android phones. But last year, Google Lens came to desktop via the Chrome browser and can be accessed by right-clicking an image and then selecting “Search Image with Google Lens.”

The new Lens sidebar in action.
Image: Google

Google Lens is designed to be able to identify everything from buildings and animals to clothes, plants, and works of art. It offers a more visual way to find the information you’re seeking online. The feature holds a lot of promise, but it often feels like a fun novelty that Google is struggling to turn into a useful tool. Hopefully for Google, making it more accessible on desktop can allow its potential to emerge.

The new Lens panel is rolling out to Chrome users now. Specific steps on how to access the feature can be found on this support page.

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