Google Lens was one of the hot topics out of Google I/O, this year. During the show, Google told us (and demonstrated) that a number of OEMs would have live processing built right into their camera apps, which we've since seen going live for some phones produced by Sony, OnePlus, Motorola, and ASUS. Meanwhile, Google's own Nexus and Pixel phones were left a bit behind the curve, at least until today. The latest update to the Google Camera app finally brings Lens mode to Pixel, Nexus, and other Google-supported phones.
To find Lens mode, just open the navigation drawer by tapping the hamburger icon at the top left or swipe from the left edge to the center. It works just like it does in the Google Assistant and the standalone app, so there's not really anything to this change that we didn't already have, but it's another way to reach Lens if it's more convenient or memorable from one moment to the next. Performance and behaviors appear to match, and it looks like all of the main features are there, like recognizing and copying text or reading barcodes.
I can confirm that this update adds Lens mode to at least the Nexus 6P and Pixel phones, but it should also work for any other phone compatible with the Google Camera app.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.