Use Lookout to explore your environment

With Lookout, you can get details about objects, images, and text around you. Lookout uses the camera and sensors on your Android device to recognize objects and text, and tells you what it finds.

Step 1: Check requirements

To download and use Lookout, make sure that your device is supported.

  • Android version: 6.0 or later. Learn how to check your Android version.
  • Languages: Bengali, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Step 2: Install and turn on Lookout

  1. In Google Play, download Lookout by Google.
  2. Start Lookout with one of these options: 
    • Say "Hey Google, start Lookout."  
    • In the Apps section on your phone, select Lookout Lookout.
  3. The first time you open Lookout, follow the prompts on your screen to learn how your data is used and review tips for getting the most out of Lookout.
  4. To let Lookout take pictures and record video, select Allow.
  5. Hold your device so that the camera faces away from you.

Use Lookout modes

You can select a mode to have Lookout complete an action like read a document or scan a barcode.

Switch between Lookout modes

To change modes, at the bottom of your screen, tap a mode. If you use TalkBack, double tap a mode. You can also swipe from left to right. If you use Talkback, use a two-finger swipe.

Modes you can use

Text mode

Lookout starts in Text mode. You can use this mode to sort mail or read signs. 

To use text mode, point your camera at any text. If the text isn't read clearly, try to rotate your device between landscape and portrait, or move the text closer or farther away.

Explore mode (beta)

Point your camera around you so it can pick up what’s in your environment, like objects and text. 

Tip: Explore mode is still in beta and is less accurate than other modes.

Food labels mode (beta)

Important: Food labels mode is currently available in selected countries.

Lookout can scan barcodes or recognize the front of a packaged food product.

To read a food label: 

  1. Hold the product label in front of your camera.
  2. Slowly rotate the package.

Tip: The first time you select Food labels mode, follow the prompt to “Download additional data.” This download lets Lookout recognize food labels, get results faster, and work offline.

Documents mode

You can use documents mode to read full pages of text or handwriting.

To use documents mode:

  1. Put the document on a flat surface.                                                                    
  2. Hold your device in portrait position.
  3. Start with the camera very close to the document
  4. Slowly move further from the document.
  5. Listen as Lookout gives you real-time guidance to take a picture of the document.

Tip: To read the text in view, you can also tap Take snapshot. Sometimes Lookout reads a snapshot better than the live camera view.

Currency mode


  • Currency mode supports US Dollars, Euros, and Indian Rupees. It does not recognize coins.
  • Currency mode does not count currency. If multiple bills are present, you'll need to keep track of them.

To use Currency mode, aim your camera at one banknote at a time.

Images mode (beta)

Important: Some features are only available in English currently.

You can use Images mode to have the contents of an image described. You can open an image from within Lookout, or you can share an image to Lookout from another app.

Depending on the image, Lookout summarizes the content with a caption and offers further details. If the image has a location or timestamp in the file, Lookout also reports that information.

The quality of the image can impact the amount and accuracy of detail provided. Poor lighting, blur, low resolution, and occlusion can negatively affect the results.

How to use Lookout

Turn the camera off & on

To turn the camera off or on, tap . If you're using TalkBack, double-tap.

  • Your phone vibrates when you turn the camera on.

Change your language, currency, & country

Important: Lookout uses the same settings as your Android phone.

To use Lookout in multilingual environments, you can change:

  • Language for Text, Document and Explore modes.
  • Currency for Currency mode. 
  • Country for Food labels mode.  

To update any of these settings:

  1. Select the mode you want to use.
  2. Navigate to Language, Currency, or Country. Select the setting you want.
    • This step varies by mode.
  3. In the menu of options, select your language, currency, or country.
  4. To return to the active mode, click Back.

Tip: If you change your country for Food labels mode or your currency in Currency mode, follow the prompt to download fresh data for that country.

Review or share recent results

In your Recents list, you can review a history of items that Lookout has detected. You can then share a result with someone else.

  1. Select Recents
  2. Scroll through your results one at a time.
  3. Select an item to get details.
  4. To share an item, select Share "".
  5. Select the app where you'd like to share or store the result.

Tip: Recent items are automatically deleted every time you close Lookout.

Change Lookout settings

  1. In the Apps section on your phone, select Lookout Lookout.
  2. Select the account menu and then Settings.
  3. Review or change the following settings:
    • Better image recognition: Send Lookout imagery to Google’s servers for better results. 
      • Images are stored on your device. To send images to Google's servers for processing only, choose from Wi-Fi only, Wi-Fi and mobile data, or Off.
    • Automatic flashlight: Automatically use your flashlight to improve image recognition.
    • Document scan hints: Get document scan guidance.
    • Haptic feedback: Use vibrations to confirm your actions.
    • Text-to-speech output settings: Customize your Lookout text-to-speech settings. 
      • These settings are separate from your device OS text-to-speech settings. You can adjust speech rate, pitch, play a sample, or reset to the system defaults.

Help & feedback

To send feedback about Lookout:

  1. In the Apps section on your phone, select Lookout Lookout
  2. Select the account menu and then Help & Feedback.

For more help using Lookout, contact the Google Disability Support team.

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