Use Lookout to explore your surroundings

Lookout uses computer vision to provide information about your surroundings. Lookout uses the camera and sensors on your Android device to recognize objects and text, then tells you what it sees. 

Step 1: Check requirements

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

Step 2: Install and turn on Lookout

  1. Download Lookout on Google Play.
  2. Start Lookout using one of these options: 
    • Say "Ok 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. Select Allow to let Lookout take pictures and record video.
  5. Make sure to hold your device so that the camera faces outward.

Use Lookout modes

Lookout has 5 modes that you can use for different activities.

Switch between Lookout modes

To change modes, tap a mode name at the bottom of your screen. If you're using TalkBack, double-tap.

Quick Read mode

By default, Lookout starts in Quick Read mode. Point your camera at any text. For example, try this mode for sorting mail or reading signs. 

If the text isn’t read clearly, try rotating your device between landscape and portrait, or moving the text closer or farther away.

Explore mode (beta)

Point your camera around you to hear about what’s in your environment, such as objects and text. 

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

Food Label mode (beta)

Lookout can scan barcodes or recognize the front of a packaged food product. Try holding the product’s label in front of your camera and slowly rotating it.

Note: Food Label mode is currently available only in some countries. The first time you select Food Label mode, follow the prompt to download additional data. This download (up to 250 MB and 5 minutes) lets Food Label mode recognize food labels, get results faster, and work offline.

Scan Document mode

Use this mode for reading full pages of text. Hold your device in portrait mode, move it slowly, and listen for Lookout’s real-time guidance to help you take a good picture of the entire document. 

You can also use the "Take snapshot" button at any time to read the text in view. Sometimes Lookout can read a snapshot better than a live camera view.

Currency mode (US Dollars only) 

Aim your camera at one bill at a time. 

Note: Currency mode only works with US Dollars, and doesn't yet recognize coins. 

Tips for using Lookout

Stop and start Lookout

To stop or start Lookout, tap Stop Stop . If you're using TalkBack, double-tap.

Your phone will vibrate when you stop Lookout.

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.

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:
    • Automatic flashlight: Let Lookout turn your flashlight on to improve image recognition.
    • Document scanning hints: Get real-time guidance in Scan Document mode to help you take a good picture.
    • Haptic feedback: Let Lookout use vibrations to confirm actions.
    • Text-to-speech output settings: Choose text-to-speech settings just for Lookout. These settings are separate from your system text-to-speech settings.  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.