How to use Visual Look Up in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

How to use Visual Look Up in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

The iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 updates brought in a ton of customization features to the iPhone and iPad. While features like lock screen customization, battery percentage, etc., garnered all the attention, other useful features went under the radar. Visual Look Up is one of these features; here’s everything you need to know about it.

Note: Apple has delayed the public release of iPadOS 16 to October.

What’s new with Visual Look Up in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16?

Visual Look Up was first introduced with iOS 15. Visual Look offers the ability to carry out an online search and provide information about the subject of a photo. It can search for information about landmarks, art, plants, pets, insects, birds, etc. The feature is not restricted to the Photos app but also works in Safari and Messages.  

Visual Look Up has received an update with iOS 16. You can now tap and hold on to an image’s subject (including people) and save or share it without the background. In essence, Visual Look Up can now be used as the substitute for a background remover tool; this feature works in the same way – just way faster than any other third-party application.  

Does my iPhone support Visual Look Up? 

Visual Look Up requires plenty of on-device processing power. Processors upwards of the A12 Bionic SoC have the capacity to meet these power requirements, and so, Visual Look Up is available in devices powered by A12 Bionic SoC and later. To simplify this even further, here’s a list of all the devices that support Visual Look Up: 

  • iPhone 14 Pro Max 
  • iPhone 14 Pro 
  • iPhone 14 Plus 
  • iPhone 14 
  •  iPhone 13 Pro Max  
  • iPhone 13 Pro   
  • iPhone 13   
  • iPhone 13 mini  
  • iPhone SE 2022  
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max  
  • iPhone 12 Pro   
  • iPhone 12   
  • iPhone 12 mini  
  • iPhone SE 2020  
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max  
  • iPhone 11 Pro   
  • iPhone 11   
  • iPhone XS Max  
  • iPhone XS   
  • iPhone XR 

How to use Visual Look Up on iPhone and iPad

As I already mentioned, you can access two features with Visual Look-up. The first is the ability to recognize objects in Photos, Safari, and Messages. And the second is the ability to copy and paste the subject of an image without its background. Read along to learn how to use both these features.

How to recognize objects through Visual Look Up in iOS 16

Artificial Intelligence comes into play for the recognize objects feature under Visual Look Up. Stars will surround the Information icon in Photos if Visual Look Up is available for the image. Since this feature is also available on Safari and Messages, I’ll include the steps for those too.

1. Recognize objects in the Photos app

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.  
  2. Select the image you want to look up and open it on full screen.  
  3. Swipe up or tap the information icon surrounded by stars. (Stars will only surround the information icon if Look Up is available for the selected image) 
  4. Tap the icon representing the subject or tap Look Up.  
  5. The next page will display the results.  

    Recognize objects in the Photos app through Visual Look Up on iPhone

2. Identify objects in the Message app

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone.  
  2. Navigate to the chat which has the image you want to look up. 
  3. Select the image from within the chat and open it in full screen
  4. Tap the information icon surrounded by stars. (Stars will only surround the information icon if Look Up is available for the selected image) 
  5. The next page will display the results. 

    Identify objects in the Message app through Visual Look Up on iPhone

3. Recognize objects in Safari

Whenever you are browsing on Safari and come across an image you want to look up, follow these steps:

  1. Tap and hold on to the image you want to Look Up.
  2. Select the Look Up option.
  3. The next page will display the results. 

    Recognize objects in Safari through Visual Look Up on iPhone

The Results page not only displays information about the subject of the image but also displays similar images alongside. However, it is not always accurate as Artificial Intelligence has to recognize the subject correctly. 

How to copy and paste images with Visual Look Up

In the past, whenever I wanted to remove the background from images, I had to resort to background removal tools or third-party applications. However, with iOS 16, you can copy the subject of an image by tapping and holding on to it. The edge detection is great, but please do not expect Photoshop-level background removal. With that said, here’s how to copy and paste images through Visual Look Up.  

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone. 
  2. Navigate to the image you want to remove the background from.  
  3. Tap and hold on to the subject of the image.  
  4. You can either select Copy or Share… based on what you intend to do with the image.  
  5. Select Share… if you want to save the image without the background. You can also share it without the background of several apps, assign it to a contact, print it if you like, and much more.  

    How to copy and paste images with Visual Look Up on iPhone and iPad

That’s a wrap! 

Visual Look Up’s copy and paste abilities are great. I’ve created several stickers of my friends using it, and I hope you do the same 😝. The option to recognize the subject of an image is a handy feature. It’s very similar to how Google Lens works. 

I hope this article helped you learn what Visual Look up is and how you can use it. If you have any doubts, leave them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you with a solution as soon as possible.  

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