Google Lens can now select the text seen in a photo. (Photo: Google)

Ahead of Mobile World Congress, Google announced Friday it is bringing its augmented reality and Google Lens smart camera tools to more devices — and giving both new tricks.

Why it matters: Convincing developers to build for AR is, in part, a numbers game. Apple's ARKit is already supported on lots and lots of iPhones so getting Google's rival ARCore on more devices is important. Google Lens, meanwhile, is the evolution of the search box, using what the camera sees as the query.

As for Google Lens, Google is also expanding what the camera-based search tool can do, both within Google Photos and Google Assistant apps. Even iPhone users will be able to use Google Lens within the Google Photos app.

  • Capture text within a photo — Perhaps Google Lens' coolest new trick will be to covert the words inside a photo into text that you can copy and paste. It will also be able to make sense of things like business cards and add the information to your contacts. Translating text between languages isn't in this version but is planned, Google told Axios.
  • Google Lens will also be able to classify the types of plants and animals found within photos, which, according to Google was a highly-requested feature.

On the AR front, ARCore moves out of developer preview and will now work with certain high-end models from Samsung, LG, Asus and OnePlus, in addition to Google's Pixel and Pixel 2 models. Many of this year's flagship phones will also support ARCore, including devices from Samsung, Huawei, LGE, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile, and Vivo.

Go deeper

4 mins ago - World

U.S. election result will shake up Israeli politics

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's biggest domestic political asset is on the ballot on Nov. 3 — his relationship with President Trump.

Why it matters: The outcome of America's election could help determine whether Israel soon faces yet another election of its own.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Zeta closes in

The probable path of Zeta, per the National Hurricane Center. Photo: NHC/NOAA

Zeta strengthened into a hurricane again early Wednesday and was on track to make landfall in southeastern Louisiana by the afternoon, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Unrest in Philadelphia after fatal police shooting of Black man

Demonstrators rally on Tuesday near the location where Walter Wallace was killed by two police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Pennsylvania National Guard was mobilized Tuesday during a tense second night of protests in Philadelphia over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man.

Driving the news: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a joint statement a "full investigation" would be launched to answer questions that arose from video that captured part of Monday's incident.