5 Best Plant Identification Apps For Android and iPhone

By | March 25, 2022

Have you ever looked at a flower and wondered what kind of plant it was? Luckily, some apps promise to reveal the names of the plants and flowers you find in the wild. You just have to point your phone’s camera at them to get the answer.

Of the applications available, only a few are as successful as Microsoft Bing and Google Lens. Apart from identifying flowers and plants, the app can identify products, books and in the case of Google Lens even places.

Here’s how to use Bing and Google Lens for flower identification. We’ll also give you some additional plant identification apps to try.

Identify Plants With Bing Search

While you might think of Bing as inferior to Google, the Bing mobile app is actually great for identifying flora. When you first open it, you’ll see a large search button with a camera and mic button nearby.

To use Bing as a flower identifier:

  • Tap the camera icon to open the camera search function.
  • Point your camera at the flower or item you want to identify. Take the photo.
    • If you like, you can also drag pictures from your camera roll.
  • After you take a photo, Bing will scan the image and give you three possible search results, including the accompanying image. It will also display a similar image.
Download: Microsoft Bing Search for Android | iOS (Free)

Identify Plants With Google Lens

Google Lens is available as a standalone app for Android users. Meanwhile, iPhone owners are getting Google Lens bundled as part of the Google Photos app. Custom Google Lens is much easier to use. When you open the app, your entire phone screen becomes the camera lens.

To use this to identify flowers by images:

  • Tap the screen when you want to take a picture of an item.
  • After you take a picture, Google Lens will show one main result for that item, along with a photo, a list of related content, and similar images.
  • Tapping on the main photo will take you to a Google search page with a description of the plant.

If you’re using Google Photos for iPhone:

  • Take a picture with your regular camera, then open the picture in the Google Photos app.
  • Next, tap the Google Lens button at the bottom of the screen. It will tell you what type of flower this is in seconds.
Download: Google Lens for Android (Free)
Download: Google Photos for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)

Is Bing Search or Google Lens Better

Before moving on to the other available apps, let’s consider whether Microsoft Bing or Google Lens is better for identifying plants with photos.

If you’re judging purely on how the app manages to identify flowers, then Google Lens just adds Bing. Both applications failed several times to identify specific plants and flowers, but they also managed to identify different flowers such as hydrangeas and lesser known lantana.

They also identify petunias and mint. However, with Bing results, this is identified through a similar photo, rather than the Bing app suggesting it as one of its three main options.

Google Lens distinguishes itself by making its identification a bit faster than Bing. Plus, the more you use the app, the more you contribute to Google’s AI identification skills. There’s a lot more you can do with Google Lens, including pulling contact information from business cards and identifying unusual foods.

The only way Bing is better than Google Lens is to provide Bing with more image results. So if it’s not correctly identifying the plant, it’s likely that it will offer an image that will allow you to figure out what plant you’re looking at.

PictureThis

PictureThis is a plant identification app with free and premium versions. This is one of the most widely available identification apps, and for good reason.

Easy to use, easy to navigate, and has excellent search results, this app proved during testing that it could identify plants in every photo we took. It also helped us figure out what kind of crop it was when the other two apps failed.

Some aspects to note:

  • Every picture you take with the app is saved in the section My collections. You can easily access this information again if needed.
  • There is a community of plant enthusiasts in the app to connect. You can like and comment on images, or share them.
  • By enabling Location Services with this app, PictureThis can “show you the plants you identify and help you find nearby flowers.” These flowers are then pinned on the map. You can also view nearby plants identified by other users.

The premium version allows you to identify unlimited plants. It also lets you use the app without ads or interruptions. Even with the limited free version of PictureThis, you can still get a lot out of the service.

Download: PictureThis for Android | iOS (Free, subscription available)

Plant Identification ++

Plant Identification++ is another free-to-use plant identification app with an optional premium subscription. However, the free version still works well if what you expect is to identify plants quickly and easily.

When you open the app, take a crop picture or drag a picture from your photo album. After you take a photo, the app searches its database and gets the possible results.

We found the results of this search very accurate. Also, when you tap on a result, Plant Identification++ finds the plant information page on Wikipedia.

Other features you should know about:

  • Once you take a crop picture with the app, it ends up in the section My Collections.
  • If you subscribe to the premium version of Plant Identification++, you get the ability to get unlimited identification tools.

Basically, the app is easy to use and low stress. It’s perfect for plant fans who don’t want to connect with other people on social media. The main downside is that it displays too many ads for the premium subscription, plus it’s only available for iPhone users.

Download: Plant Identification++ for iOS (Free, subscription available)

NatureID

Like the other apps on this list, NatureID lets you explore the world around you. With the option to go straight to the premium plan after a three-day trial or continue with the limited free version, NatureID has a solution for everyone. It’s perfect for power users and occasional hobbyists.

When you identify a flower with a picture, NatureID draws the ID card on it. On this card, you’ll see:

  • Plant name
  • This is taxonomy
  • List of subspecies
  • Cultivation and practical use for plants
  • Additional information and sections (if necessary), such as Symbolism and Folklore

This last part is very interesting. With Symbolism and Folklore, for example, this app talks about what a flower or plant meant historically and what it symbolizes now.

Unfortunately, NatureID is only available for iOS.

Download: NatureID for iOS (Free, subscription available)

Plant Identification With Application

Identifying plants can be a lot of fun once you get started. The best part about this app is that if you use it often enough, you will start to recognize flowers and vegetables yourself.

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