Use Lookout to explore your environment

With Lookout:

  • Computer vision provides information about your surroundings.
  • Camera and sensors recognise objects and text on your Android device.

Step 1: Check prerequisite

To download and use Lookout, ensure that your device supports:

  • Android version 6.0 or up. Learn how to check your Android version.
  • Languages include Bengali, Chinese (simplified), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Step 2: Install and turn on Lookout

  1. On your Android phone, open Google Play.
  2. Download Lookout.
  3. To start Lookout, use one of these options:
    • Say 'Hey Google, start Lookout'.
    • On your phone, in the Apps section, tap Lookout Lookout.
  4. Follow the prompts on your screen to:
    • Learn how Lookout uses your data.
    • Review tips to get the most out of Lookout
  5. To let Lookout take pictures and record video, tap Allow.
  6. To face your camera outwards, hold your device.

Use Lookout modes

You can use six modes of Lookout for different activities.

Switch between Lookout modes

  1. To change modes, at the top left, tap the Select mode button Menu.
  2. To switch the mode, tap the mode that you want to use.
    • If you use TalkBack, double-tap your screen.
  3. Choose a mode:
    • Text: Point your camera to any text to read it. If the text isn't read clearly:
      • Rotate your device between landscape and portrait.
      • Move the text closer or further away.
    • Explore (beta): Point your camera around you to hear what's in your environment, like objects and text.
      • Explore mode is still in beta and is less accurate than other modes.
    • Food labels: To scan barcodes or recognise the front of a food product, hold the product's label in front of your camera and slowly rotate it.
      • Food labels mode is only available in some countries. The first time that you select Food label mode, follow the prompt to download additional data. This download lets Food label mode recognise food labels, get results faster and work offline.
    • Documents: Read full pages of text.
      • Hold your device in portrait mode and move your device slowly.
      • To take a picture of the entire document, listen to Lookout's real-time guidance.
      • To read the text in view, you can use the 'Take snapshot' button. Lookout can sometimes read a snapshot better than a live camera view.
    • Currency: To read currency, point your camera at one banknote at a time.
      • This mode is only available for US dollars, euros or Indian rupees. It doesn't recognise coins.
    • Images (beta): Upload an image and get a description.
      • Poor lighting, blurring, low resolution and occlusion can negatively affect the results. In addition, the contents and composition of the image can affect the results.
      • For people using English in the US, UK and Canada, you can ask follow-up questions and get AI-powered answers using the keyboard or voice typing.

Tips for using Lookout

Stop and start Lookout

To turn the camera on or off, tap Turn camera on or off .

  • If you use TalkBack, double-tap on your screen.

Tip: Your phone vibrates when you turn the camera on.

Read text with reading tools

Reading tools are available in:

  • Documents mode
  • Images mode
  • Recent

With these tools you can adjust the reading speed and display options, like: 

  • Font choice
  • Text size and appearance
  • Background or text colour contrast
  • Letter spacing
  • Line height

To turn on reading tools in Documents mode, at the bottom right, tap Reading settings .

Alternative method to turn on reading tools in Documents mode:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. To use these features, tap Reading tools settings.

Change language, currency and country

By default, Lookout uses the same settings as your Android phone. You can change language for Text, Document and Explore modes, change currency for Currency mode and change country for Food labels mode. This lets you use Lookout in multilingual environments.

  1. Select the mode that you want to use.
  2. At the top, tap the language, currency or country button.
  3. Select the desired language, currency or country that you want to use from the menu.
  4. To return to the active mode, tap Back.
  • If you change your country for Food labels mode or your currency in Currency mode, you will be prompted to download fresh data for that country.

Review or share recent results

On your Recent list, you can review the history of items that Lookout has detected and share the result with others.

  1. Select Recent.
  2. Go through your results one at a time.
  3. To get details, select an item.
  4. To share an item, tap Share Share.
  5. Select the app where you want to share or save the result.

Tip: Whenever you close Lookout, recent items are deleted automatically.

Change Lookout settings

  1. In your Android phone's Apps section, tap Lookout Lookout.
  2. Tap your Profile or Initial image and then Settings.
  3. Review or change the following settings:
    • Better image experience: Enjoy better performance across Lookout's modes by enabling server-side processing. Requires Wi-Fi or mobile data.
    • Automatic torch: Automatically use your torch to improve image recognition.
    • Document scan hints: Get document scan guidance.
    • Haptic feedback: Use vibrations to confirm actions.
    • Reading tools settings: Manage font and text-to-speech settings.
    • Karaoke highlighting: Highlight each word as it's spoken.
    • Text-to-speech output settings: Select 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 and feedback

To send feedback:

  1. In your Android phone's Apps section, tap Lookout Lookout.
  2. Select your Profile or Initial image and then Help and feedback.

For more help, contact the Google Disability Support team.


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