Last year, in iOS 15, Apple added a feature that allows you to highlight and select written and typed text from photos and interact with it as you would text anywhere else in the operating system.
With iOS 16 likely to launch to the public in September, Apple Live Text has continued to improve and has some impressive new capabilities, which we’ve outlined below.
Live text in videos
Video support is the biggest new feature added to Live Text. Instead of just being able to select text in photos, you can now pause a video and interact with the text as you would in an image.
Text in any paused video frame can be copied and pasted or translated, and it also works with Look Up. Live Text works across the operating system in Photos, Camera, Safari, and other apps.
To copy text in a video, pause it at the desired frame and tap and hold a word. You can grab the two blue markers to narrow or widen your selection, then you can press and hold to go to options like translate and copy.
Text in a photo or video also supports quick actions, something Apple added in iOS 15. In iOS 16 there are new quick actions that allow you to track flights, track packages, translate languages and convert currencies right from a photo or video.
For example, if you have a photo with a sign in a foreign language, you may see the “Translate” quick action available. Or if there is a foreign currency, Apple offers the quick conversion action.
Apple takes the Live Text functionality in the Translate app and adds a camera button that opens the device’s camera so you can get live translations in real time.
Live Text now works with Japanese, Korean and Ukrainian text in addition to English, Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.
Live Text Spotlight Search
Live Text capabilities that recognize text in photos and videos can be used in Spotlight searches in iOS 16, allowing you to perform a Spotlight search to find specific text in an image or video.
Live Text Requirements
An iPhone with an A12 Bionic or higher is required to use Live Text features. The 2018 iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are equipped with an A12 Bionic, so if you have one of these devices or newer, you can take advantage of Live Text.
Have questions about Live Text in iOS 16, know of a feature we left out, or want to provide feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.