Have you ever ordered the wrong food on holiday because you couldn’t read the menu?
Or perhaps you’ve found yourself wandering around a city for hours, unable to get to your destination because the signs weren’t in English.
Well, a little-known app could save you from these two major holiday stresses.
Google Lens is a free app, available on both Android and iOS, and is described as a ‘travel companion’ during the holiday season.
Google Lens is a free app, available on both Android and iOS, and uses the built-in smartphone camera to identify real-world objects
It is essentially a real-life Google search and uses the built-in camera on a smartphone to scan and identify real-world objects.
According to the Google blog website: ‘[It] can instantly translate the text in front of you, whether you’re looking at a menu or street sign.
‘Point Lens at any text and it will automatically detect the language and overlay the translations right on top of the original words.’
You can find Google Lens in the Google app, it’s the tiny camera icon next to the search bar.
Once you’ve tapped it you are given several options including ‘Search’ and ‘Translate’.
The app directly translates more than 100 languages, and will instantly detect the native dialect and translate it into the language of your choice.
Many people have used it to solve their menu woes by simply hovering the camera above the menu and watching it ac
The travel hack has been well appreciated by TikTokers, who are only just discovering the feature.
The app directly translates more than 100 languages, and will instantly detect the native dialect and translate it into the language of your choice
It is able to translate real-world objects such as medicine labels, food packages and menus
One user @TravelTok described the app as a ‘game changer,’ and demonstrated that it was quickly able to translate both medicines and food packaging.
Another frequent traveller, who goes by the username @raimeetravels, showed how quickly the app can identify buildings or objects.
Hovering her phone outside the entrance of Centre Pompidou Malaga, the app instantly gave Raimee the name of the contemporary art museum.
Adding in the caption, she wrote: ‘My new favourite thing.’
Some TikTokers have only just found the hidden feature, and are sharing their discovery on the app
One TikTok traveller demonstrated how to get Google Lens to identify buildings, and scanned a building before her
The app quickly identified the building as an art museum in Spain called, Centre Pompidou Malaga
TikTokers flocked to the comment section, grateful of the post, one said: ‘I used the translate option a lot last week in Japan. So helpful!’
The same feature is also available on the Google Translate app, which TikTok user Kate Bacon demonstrated.
Posting a tutorial to her account @kbacon, she said: ‘You go to the Google Translate app, select your languages, click on the camera icon, and it will translate all of the text you see.’
Phone owners can access the same feature via the Google Translate app, all you need to do is click on the camera option
The app will access Google Lens and translate word for word the object before them
The ‘quick and easy life hack’ was appreciated by her followers, who commented ‘Thank you’ and ‘That’s definitely been a tremendous help!’
Not only does Google lens work for travel, you can also sharpen your shopping skills.
For example, if you see a random item you want, outside of the store, all you need to do is scan it and Google Lens will provide similar suggestions – all without having to articulate what you’re looking for.