Google Lens may be an incredibly handy tool that could as well have been science fiction just a few years back, but it looks like Google is having trouble sticking with one branding for its image analysis service. A new icon has popped up in one of our tipster's Google search bar that's more closely resembling a camera than the previous version, suggesting that many folks might find the old icon hard to understand.
So far, we haven't been able to spot the new Lens icon anywhere else — the Play Store listing for the shortcut app is still showing the current May 2019 design, and so does the Google app on our phones. It looks like the new version is part of a limited a/b test for now, so it's still unclear if Google will even pull through with the new design. The company might just be testing if people are more likely to use Lens when its icon more closely resembles a camera.
Left: Older variant. Right: May 2019 redesign.
Since Google only redesigned the Lens icon back during Google I/O 2019, the new variant comes as a bit of a surprise — after all, the 2019 icon already fits nicely into the icon color scheme that Google is slowly introducing for all of its apps. But it's entirely possible that many people might find the 2019 icon hard to understand as it only loosely resembles a camera, so a redesign that hits closer to the real thing might not be the worst idea.
- Hamzah Malik