Lens has been making its way to many of Google's apps and services. Assistant, Photos, Camera, Images, all have already added a way to send images through Lens' smart system to detect what's in them and serve you relevant results, and now Chrome is joining the fray.

We already knew that Lens was poised to make its way to Chrome and now the feature is live in all versions of the browser, from Stable to Canary. It's not activated by default for all users, so you may need to head to chrome://flags and look for #context-menu-search-with-google-lens. Enable the flag, restart the browser, and you'll see a change in the contextual pop-up when tapping on an image: "Search Google for this image" is replaced with "Search with Google Lens."

Left: Flag disabled. Right: Flag enabled.

Using Lens provides an all-new dimension to your image search. Instead of looking for an exact replica of the image on other sites, Lens focuses on the elements it recognizes, so you get a lot of similar images. Fret not though as the "Search by image" bubble is still an option if you want to go through Google's regular Images lookup.

Searching with Lens gets you similar photos instead of exact replicas.

In some cases, Lens search may be much smarter and more helpful than Google Images. It'll detect elements in a pic and point you toward them, like a location, a fashion accessory, a furniture piece, and more. Plus, you can always crop and adjust the area it focuses on to get better targeted results.

Left: Lens found the image of Rotterdam Ahoy and surfaced actions from Maps. Middle & Right: Cropping redirected it to a different search.

The flag is available on all Chrome releases; just make sure you're on a recent version and you should be able to activate it. You don't need to have the Lens app installed on your device to try it out.

Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
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  • Moshe