Best apps to identify and identify anything using your phone’s camera

For many users, the camera of the phone is one of its most important aspects. It has a lot of uses, from magically superimposing virtual creatures using AR apps to taking perfect photos in the dark.

So you might miss another key capability of your smartphone camera: it can act as a visual search engine and select just about anything you see in the world. This can help you with everything from general introduction to shopping. Here are the best Android and iPhone apps that identify objects by image.

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

1. Google Lens: to identify everything

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

Google brought the search engine components to the camera. With computer vision, its lens feature can identify a lot of items. Google Lens recognizes a wide range of items including breeds of animals, plants, flowers, branded gadgets, logos, and more. The biggest exception is people.

Additionally, for compatible objects, Google Lens will also pull up shopping links if you want to purchase them. Instead of the dedicated app, iPhone users can find Google Lens functionality in the Google Photos app for easy recognition of various things. We’ve looked at some interesting uses for Google Photos if you’re interested and have some curiosity.

Download: Google Lens for Android (Free)

Download: Google Photos for iOS (Free)

2. Pinterest: The identifier for art, design and decor

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

Likewise, Pinterest is an excellent object recognition app that, after taking a photo, fetches links and pages for the objects it recognizes. The Pinterest solution can also match multiple items into a complex image, such as an outfit, and will prompt you to purchase items if applicable.

Pinterest’s visual search is primarily designed for what the social network is known for, such as creatives, fashion, and other similar categories. For purposes like exploring nature, you will have a better time with Google Lens.

Download: Pinterest for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Snapchat: Learn about cars, plants, dogs, music and more

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

Snapchat’s object recognition journey began when the company partnered with Shazam to provide a music identifier platform directly into a social networking app. Snapchat now uses AR technology to scan the world around you and identify a variety of products including plants, models of cars, dog breeds, cat breeds, homework formulas, and more.

This is very useful because many users already rely on Snapchat for their social networking needs. There is no need to download a secondary application.

Once you use the lens to identify different objects, you can use AR lenses to further manipulate your environment. These include everything from filters to filters to environment warping.

Download: Snapchat for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

4. Amazon Shopping: Compare prices and availability on Amazon

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

Although Amazon will only allow you to see the products sold by it and its associated retailers, it is still a great option for identifying everyday popular items. The identifier is also likely to be with the easiest buying options.

You can take a photo with an Amazon search camera, scan a barcode, or upload a photo directly from your camera roll. The Amazon Shopping app will then automatically search the website for the most relevant purchase options available. You can then order these items and have them delivered to your home with just a few easy clicks.

Download: Amazon Shopping for Android | iOS (Free)

5. TapTapSee: Recognize audible items

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

TapTapSee is specially designed for the everyday visual impaired.

TapTapSee is a voice translator. All you have to do is point the camera at any object and take a picture. TapTapSee will then select the item and tell you out loud exactly what it is. The app will focus the camera automatically so that you don’t have to worry about any hand shake while in use, it even has a barcode/QR reader for hard identification.

You can upload images from your camera gallery to identify them and even save them to your phone afterwards with definitions provided for easy reuse. Please note that you will need to turn on the Apple VoiceOver setting for this app to work. This app is just one of our list of apps that help the visually impaired navigate better every day.

Download: TapTapSee for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Image Recognition and Searcher: image recognition

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

Although Image Recognition and Searcher is designed for reverse image search, you can also use the camera option to select any image or physical object.

After you take a photo or a reverse image search, the app will provide you with a list of web addresses directly related to the photo or item found. Images can also be uploaded from the camera’s gallery or copied and pasted directly into the app for ease of use.

Google, Bing, and Yandex are the three services the app uses. These search engines will provide you with websites, social networking accounts, purchase options, and more to help discover the source of your image or item. This app is only available for iOS.

Download: Image Recognition and Searcher for iOS (Free, subscription available)

7. PictureThis: Plant Recognition

Best Apps to Identify and Identify Anything Using Your Phone's Camera - Android iOS

If you are an avid gardener or a nature lover, you urgently need to download PictureThis. This app is perfect for spotting those pesky weeds that are killing your cucumber or spotting the beautiful algae covering your campground.

Using this application is very simple. Take a picture of the plant you hope to spot and let PictureThis do the work! It will provide you with the plant’s name and all necessary information including potential pests and diseases, watering tips and more! The app also provides you with watering reminders and the ability to connect with experts who can help you diagnose diseased houseplants. You can also check out the best gardening and farming apps for Android and iOS devices.

Download: PictureThis: Plant Identifier for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

“What is that?” These apps have the answer!

Thanks to advances in image recognition technology, the unknown objects in the world around you are no longer a mystery. With these apps, you have the ability to identify almost everything, be it a plant, a rock, some jewelry or a coin.

At the heart of these platforms is a network of machine learning algorithms (like the ones you can build with Microsoft Lobe). It is becoming increasingly popular across digital products, so you must have a basic understanding of it. Here is a quick guide to machine learning and how its algorithms work. Check out how to create a machine learning model using Microsoft Lobe.

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