iOS 16: How to use Live Text in video on iPhone and iPad

How to use Live Text in video on iPhone and iPad

Quick snippet

  • You can now extract text from video using Live Text in iOS 16.
  • Pause the video → tap the Live Text icon select the text.
  • Currently, it is only available in iOS 16 Beta.

Live Text was already well-loved, and now, it takes a giant leap by adding video compatibility. You can now use Live Text for videos and scan/extract the text featured in the video.

But before we move on to see how to use Live Text in Video on iPhone and iPad, let’s first understand the feature better.

What is Live Text in Videos?

Basically, Live Text is Apple’s native OCR technology. Earlier it was limited to images, screenshots, camera capture, etc. And now, with iOS 16, you can extract Live Text from videos on iPhone, iPad, and mac.

Haven’t explored Live Text yet? Or don’t know how it exactly works? Just check out our in-depth guide.

How to enable Live Text on iPhone

Live Text is auto-enabled, so you have no special toggle to turn on/off. However, the feature is limited to iOS 16, which is not live as of now. So, you’ll have to wait for the iOS 16 public release or download the Beta versions, whether Developer or Public.

Which iOS 16 devices support Live Text in videos?

Like Live Text released with iOS 15, this new feature is limited to devices with A12 Bionic or later. Additionally, the iPhone/iPad should be running iOS 16/iPadOS 15 or later.

  • iPhone XS and later
  • iPad Pro 2020 and later
  • 5th generation of iPad Mini
  • iPad Air 2019 or later
  • iPad 2020

Note: Live Text is also available on M1-powered Mac running macOS Ventura.

Which apps will support Live Text for video?

While Apple has released a Live Text API for developers, it will take time for them to adopt the feature. I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping apps like YouTube, Vimeo, etc., adapt the feature ASAP.

You can now scan Live Text from videos via the Photos app and Safari.

How to extract text from videos on iPhone in iOS 16

Via Photos App

  1. Open the Photos app and open the video.
  2. Pause the video on the text you want to extract.
  3. You might spot the Live Text icon on the bottom-left of the screen.
    (If you can’t see the Live Text icon, tap the Timeline and move the slider forward and backward. You can also long-press any word in the freeze-frame)
  4. Tap the Live Text icon.
  5. If you want to copy all text, tap Copy All from the bottom-right.
  6. If you want to do more, long-press any word to select it and invoke an options menu. You can drag the blue dot to increase or decrease the selection.
  7. From the options menu, you can tap:
    • Copy
    • Select All
    • Look Up
    • Translate
    • Search Web
    • Share
How to use Live Text in Video on iPhone and iPad

Interestingly, if you have the time, date, phone number, or currency featured in the video, the Live Text will recognize it and suggest you make a reminder, call the number, convert currency, and more. Here’s a neat example of the same.

How to extract text from videos in iOS 16

Via Safari

  1. Launch Safari → open video.
  2. Pause the video on the text portion and maximize the window.
  3. If in
    • Portrait mode, tap the three-dot icon, and select Show Text.
    • Landscape mode, tap the Live Text or Show Text icon.
  4. Tap Copy All to copy the selected text.
How to extract text from videos in Safari

Note: The Live Text in video feature is not working smoothly in Safari. For one, it only recognizes selective text and not everything on the page. Then, it only offers Copy All feature and not the options menu we get in other instances.

It might be a problem Beta problem and, hopefully, be resolved soon.

How to scan text from videos in iOS 15  

There’s still a lot of time in the iOS 16 public release, but that doesn’t mean you can’t scan text from videos on your iPhone right now. In fact, I have a sneaky workaround that will get the job done until the new iOS finally arrives.

  1. Open the YouTube app or Photos app and play the video.
  2. Pause the video and take a screenshot.
  3. Now, go to the Photos app and open the screenshot.
  4. Tap the Live Text (Show Text) icon, and select the text. You can now:
    • Copy
    • Select All
    • Look Up
    • Translate
    • Search Web
    • Share
How to extract text from videos in iOS 15

If you can’t spot the Live Text icon not showing up, simply long-press the text to invoke the options menu.

Happy OCRing!

I am so happy that I have to only depend on the workaround for some more days. As and when I move to iOS 16, I can extract Live Text in videos quickly and seamlessly (hopefully). What do you think about the feature? Is it good or meh? Share your verdict with us in the comments section below.

Want to explore more iOS 16 features? Check out our guides

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