Search engines make it easy to find information or buy products, but what if you want to identify a picture you have? In these cases, reverse image search comes to the rescue. This powerful feature allows you to upload an image to search instead of entering text.
Let’s take a look at the best reverse image search tools available on your iPhone or Android device.
CamFind is a basic yet functional reverse image search tool. The next time you want to search for an image, just open up CamFind and take a picture. Once the picture uploads, the app matches it against others on the internet and identifies the object. After this, have a look at the available results.
Unlike other image search apps, CamFind’s functionality focuses on helping you find related videos from your app. While less versatile than other options on this list, you can set a visual reminder and share your finds with others.
2. Google Lens
Google Lens initially arrived as a Pixel exclusive; the company later integrated the feature into Google Photos. Now both iOS and Android users can use Google Lens to reverse search images.
On Android, Google Lens is available as a standalone app. iOS users can access Lens within the Google search app or Google Photos app. In Google Photos, open an image that you’ve taken and tap the Lens icon (second from the right, next to the trash icon). In the Google Lens app, tap the Lens icon on the search bar then point your camera and tap the magnifier icon.
Google’s visual search engine will analyze the image; the results will display the most relevant information. For instance, if you take a photo or use one from your gallery of an unfamiliar animal, you’ll see the Google search results. Take or use a photo of a product like a laptop and Google Lens will suggest shopping results to you.
Google Lens is one of the best picture search apps.
Download: Google Photos for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
Download: Google Lens for Android (Free)
Veracity is an intuitive visual search engine app for iPhone users. It lets you choose images from your Camera Roll or Photo Library, plus it can link to your Dropbox account.
Veracity offers a basic image editor, but you have to pay to unlock it. Another downside is that Veracity doesn’t come with an option to share results with others.
Download: Veracity for iOS (Free, premium version available)
4. Reverse Image Search App
Reverse Image Search App provides another minimalist reverse search engine experience. Take images from your Camera Roll or Gallery to reverse image search via Google Image Search, Yandex Image Search, and Bing Image Search.
You can also crop, rotate images, and save them to your device for free. However, ads can’t be removed from the Reverse Image Search App. Instead, you can navigate to the actual search results by tapping the icon in the top-right corner.
While this app isn’t available on iOS, check out the similar Reverse Image Search App for a close experience.
Download: Reverse Image Search App for iOS (Free, premium version available)
Download: Reverse Image Search for Android (Free)
5. Direct Image Search on Google
You can use Google’s direct image search in Safari or Chrome, but it’s a bit complicated. You have to request the desktop site to proceed with the search. Follow these steps to use Google’s reverse image search function on mobile devices:
- Open the Google Images site in your browser.
- For Safari on iOS, tap on the aA button at the top-left. Choose Request Desktop Website from the menu. If you’re using Chrome on iOS, tap the Share icon at the top-right of the screen and scroll down to Request Desktop Site in the list.
- For Chrome on Android, tap the three-dot Menu button at the top-right and check the Desktop site box.
- Tap the camera icon that appears on the page.
- Now you can choose to either upload an image or paste a URL, just like you would on your desktop
Visit: Google Images
6. Photo Sherlock
Photo Sherlock comes with a simplified user interface. The app allows you to reverse search an image directly using your camera. If you prefer, you can also use your Camera Roll to upload pictures. Once uploaded, you can choose to crop the image to focus on the main element. The app then fetches an image search result from Google, Yandex, or Bing.
Photo Sherlock does feature some obtrusive ads; they can be removed from the app for a small fee.
7. TinEye Reverse Image Search
If you don’t want to download a dedicated app, many online tools offer a reverse image search in a mobile-friendly format. TinEye is one such service that lets you search an image by URL or by sharing a file.
Once uploaded, the tool crawls the web and adds images to its index. TinEye lets you sort the results by Best Match, Most Changed, Biggest Image, Newest, and Oldest. Further, you can filter the result across top domains and collections.
8. Reverse Photos Image Search
Reverse Photos Search is another reverse image search web tool. Like others, this one is basic and allows you to upload images from your camera, Photo Library, or other folders.
Once uploaded, the tool will hand your image off to Google Images, where it tries to find a match. This is a simple tool if you don’t want to bother with requesting the desktop Google Images site on your mobile device, but the intrusive ads are unsightly.
Visit: Reverse Photos Search
9. Baidu Image Search
As you may know, Google services are not available in China. Thus, Chinese search engine Baidu takes up the mantle in that region. If you are in China or want to search for an image that is relevant to China, Baidu’s image search is one of the best options.
As you’d expect, the website lets you take a photo or upload it from your library. Baidu also allows you to crop the image before searching.
Visit: Baidu Images
Yandex is a popular search engine in Russia. Like Google, it offers an image search feature. Upload an image by tapping the camera icon on the search bar. You can also use your camera and search for an image without saving the photo to your library.
Your search results will attempt to identify text in your image, allow you to crop your image, and show you similar images. If some of our reasons why we’re excited for Google Lens on Chrome don’t resonate, Yandex Images can provide a straight-forward alternative.
Visit: Yandex Images
The Importance of Reverse Image Search
Reverse image searching is hugely helpful when you need to look up something you’ve seen but don’t know much about. Apart from shopping and product discovery, reverse image search has many other uses. You can use it to see if photos are authentic, snuff out fake news, and track down the info you need.
If you’re after a Google Images or Google Lens reverse image-style app on Android or iOS, there’s even a number of similar options without going to Google first.
If you like the functionality of Google Lens but don’t want to use the app, try these Android alternatives.
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