211. Hodgepodge of Tech Tips, with Google Lens

Geeks On Tour have a selection of tips about smartphones and technology, with an emphasis on Google Lens for “googling” the world around you. Join us live on Sunday at 2pm ET. Chapters

  • 0:59​ Quick Tip – Image recognition
  • 7:37​ Scanning a QR Code
  • 14:46​ Quick Create a QR code for a web page
  • 18:10​ Stop the Ringing!
  • 20:08​ Home Screen Widgets
  • 26:50​ Google Lens
  • 40:12​ Examples
  • 46:51​ Archive
  • 47:40​ Identify locations
  • 55:55​ Handwriting recognition
  • 58:25​ Reading in Chinese
  • 59:24​ Review Questions

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0:59​ Quick Tip – Image recognition

If you see an item that you are interested in, just snap a photo! When you view the photo, using Google Photos, you can tap the lens button and Google will tell you all about the item, even give you links where you can buy it.

7:37​ Scanning a QR Code

Most phones these days can scan a QR code without any special app. Try just pointing your phone’s camera at this QR code. You should see something pop up that you can tap and it will take you to our Newsletter signup form.

If yours didn’t work just using the camera, you may need to change a setting.

14:46​ Quick Create a QR code for a web page

With the latest update to Chrome, as well as Edge and Safari, it is single-click easy to create a QR code for any web page.

18:10​ Stop the Ringing!

When you get a phone call at an inappropriate time and you want it to stop ringing, even without looking to see who it is and whether you should take it, just squeeze it! Assuming you have volume buttons and the power button on the side edges of your phone, you’re bound to press one. Pressing any of those 3 buttons will stop the ringing without ending the call.

20:08​ Home Screen Widgets

This tip is for Android only. Although iPhones do have widgets, they don’t have this one. To add an icon to your home screen that will call or text a certain person, install a contact widget.

  • Long press on any blank space on a home screen and tap the Widgets button that appears
  • Scroll thru all the possible widgets and choose Contacts
  • Choose the Contact (not dial or text) by long-pressing on it to add to home screen
  • You will be prompted for what person to use for this widget.

26:50​ Google Lens

The Google Lens app lets you “google” things in the real world. Like a magic magnifying glass that will identify anything you look at.

How you access the Google Lens feature is different on Android and iOS. On Android, you need to install the standalone Google Lens app. On iOS it’s available on the Google Search . Once you have the Google Lens button you can point it at anything and get more info.

  • Point it at a plant to identify it and get more information on how to plant and care for it
  • Point it at a product like a game console and it will tell you what it is and where you can buy it
  • Point it at someones shoes if you like them and want to get some for yourselves
  • Point it at a menu item at a restaurant to get more details, including photos and recipes
  • Point it at a menu in a different language and Google Lens will translate it for you. You may need to choose the Translate option from the menu at the bottom: [Translate | Text |Search |Homework |Shopping | Places | Dining]
  • Take a photo of business cards
    – you can view it using Google Photos, tap the Lens button and tap the phone number to make a phone call
    -Note: Google Photos can search text in a photo, if you take photos of business cards, you can search for company names or people names and it will find the business card

40:12​ Questions

46:51​ Archive

When you see the prompt to “clear the clutter” all it’s doing is

47:40​ Identify locations, birds, flowers, business cards

  • A photo of a popular landmark – use Google Lens to learn the name of the landmark
  • Photos of birds – identify the type of bird
  • Photos of shells
  • Underwater photo to identify the type of turtle
  • Photos of trees – identify them
  • Pictures of QR codes will scan the QR code
  • A photo of printed text – you can copy that text and paste it elsewhere. It will be fully editable.

55:55​ Handwriting recognition

Lens can even understand handwriting. You can copy the handwriting and paste the editable text.

58:25​ Reading in Chinese – select the words in a foreign language and tap “Listen”

59:24​ Review Questions