While iOS 16.1 is available, iOS 16 as a whole comes with lots of new features, including Live Activities, iCloud Shared Photo Library, and new collaboration tools.
It’s not all about new features though, as it also introduces a massive update to iOS 15’s excellent Live Text feature that came out last year.
This nifty feature has become extremely useful since its inception, allowing users to extract phone numbers, addresses, and much more from images. The good news is that it’s even better now – with that in mind, here’s what’s new in Live Text, as well as how to use it on iPhone in iOS 16.
What is Live Text and what’s new in iOS 16?
Live text in its simplest form allows you to manipulate text in an image. For example, whether you took a picture of a restaurant menu or took a picture of a business card so you don’t forget it, Live Text will let you copy the text and use it to send a message, create a note, use an email address or make a call.
This is done with on-device intelligence, but that means you’ll need an iPhone XS, XR or later.
It will also run on iPadOS 16.1, released in October 2022, so you can use this feature across devices as needed.
However, if you have an iPhone running iOS 16, the main new feature of Live Text this year is the addition of downloading text from video content.
The point is, if you stop an educational video, for example, and want to grab some data to add to your notes, you can do so by pausing the video and highlighting the text.
Another big new feature is the inclusion of “Quick Actions” for active text. This allows, for example, to take a picture of text in another language and have it translated instantly.
Other quick actions available include starting an email while searching for an email address, calling phone numbers, converting currency, and more.
How to use Live Text in the Camera app
In the Camera app in iOS 16, hold your device so that the text is clearly visible on the screen, then tap the icon that looks like a barcode scanner in the corner of the viewfinder.
This will display the Live Text overlay and allow you to highlight some of the displayed text. You can also tapCopy everything‘ A quick action in the corner that will copy all the text to the clipboard for you to paste into the app immediately.
In the example above, you can see that the live text is a bit confusing thinking the image is upside down, but copying the text will naturally put it back in the correct orientation.
How to use Live Text in the Photos app
The same process applies to photos and videos in the Photos app. Just tap the aforementioned “Barcode” button and you’ll get the “Copy All” option, or select individual parts of the text.
This can be especially useful if you don’t have time to stop and copy some information – just grab a photo or video and come back to it in your own time.
How to use Live Text in Translate
One of the big additions in iOS 16 is the ability to access live text through the impressive Translate app. If you haven’t used this app before, you’ll find it in the App Library or Spotlight search.
Once you’re in, there’s a new option to open the camera at the bottom of the screen. It won’t be translated in real time as long as you need to take a photo, but the app works incredibly fast.
You can also select the language after the fact, meaning if you need to translate a phrase into multiple languages, you can do so with ease.