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© Stevanovicigor |

Tech trick: Use your phone to identify plants and animals

Thanks to smartphones, you don’t need to carry a camera anymore. Modern phone cameras are pretty advanced and offer many features to satisfy even professional photographers.

With the potential to take thousands of photos, finding that one image you want to share can be challenging. And what about those photos you don’t want anyone seeing. Tap or click here to learn how to find your photos fast and keep your private ones hidden.

What do you do when you spot a plant, animal or landmark and want more information? You don’t need to do a Google search. Your phone can identify it for you. Keep reading to find out how.

Just tap the star


What breed of dog is that? What species of flower is growing out of that hedge? Who painted this beautiful portrait?

If you enjoy questioning the world around you, you will love Visual Lookup. This feature, introduced with iOS 15, helps identify and learn more about certain subjects found within your photos.

All you need to do is take a picture with your iPhone, or you can use one you already took. Next:

  • Open the image in the Photos app.
  • Look for the i symbol at the bottom of your screen. If it has two stars attached to it, the image is compatible with Visual Lookup.
  • Swipe up on the photo or tap the starred i symbol to get more information about the photo.
  • Tap Look Up on your iPhone and you’ll get more information about the subject in the photo as well as search results from the web.

Try testing the feature’s accuracy by using it on a photo of a subject you already know about.

Try it with Google

Handy Google Lens tool makes searching for things online a breeze.
© Colin Temple |

Google Lens uses Google’s enormous database of information to help identify objects. You can use it to get more details on your images.

Google Lens is available for free on Android devices. Here’s how to use it:

  • Open the Google Photos app
  • Select a photo and tap Lens.
  • Depending on your photo, check the details or take an action, such as getting more information on a species of plant or linking to a store that sells an item in your photo.

RELATED: 10 things you didn’t know you could do with Google Lens

Google Lens is available as a standalone app for Android phones and is included in two separate apps for iOS, Google and Google Photos.

Keep reading

5 hidden Google Assistant tricks for your Android

Hidden setting to help you clean up junk in your camera roll

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