While iOS 16.1 is available, iOS 16 as a whole comes with a variety of new features, including Live Activities, iCloud Shared Photo Library, and new collaboration tools.
It’s not just about new features, it also brings a huge update to iOS 15’s excellent Live Text feature that arrived last year.
The smart feature has been incredibly useful since its inception, allowing users to grab phone numbers, addresses and more from images. The good news is, it’s even better now – so with that in mind, here’s what’s new in Live Text, plus how to use it for your iPhone on iOS 16.
What is Live Text and what’s new in iOS 16?
Live Text, in its simplest form, lets you manipulate text found in an image. For example, if you’ve taken a picture of a restaurant menu or taken a picture of a business card so you don’t forget, Live Text lets you copy the text and use it to send a message, create a note, use an email address. email or make a call.
This is done using device intelligence, but that means you’ll need an iPhone XS, XR or later.
It will also work on iPadOS 16.1 which was released in October 2022 so you can use the feature on your devices when needed.
However, if you have an iPhone capable of running iOS 16, the main new feature of this year’s Live Text is the addition of extracting text from video content.
The idea is that if you pause, say, an educational video and need to extract some data to add to your notes, you can do this by pausing the video and highlighting the text.
Another great new feature is the inclusion of ‘Quick Actions’ for dynamic text. This lets you take a picture of text in another language, for example, and translate it instantly.
Other quick actions available include starting an email when finding an email address, calling phone numbers, converting currency, and more.
How to use Live Text in Camera app
In the iOS 16 Camera app, hold your device so that the text is clearly visible on the screen and tap the icon that looks like a barcode scanner in the corner of the viewfinder.
This opens the dynamic text overlay and lets you highlight parts of the text shown. You can also tap the ‘copy all‘ Quick action in the corner which will copy all the text to the clipboard so you can paste it into an app right away.
In the example above, you can see that Live Text gets a little confused thinking the image is upside down, but copying the text will naturally revert it to the correct orientation.
How to use Live Text in the Photos app
The same process applies to images and videos in the Photos app. Just tap the aforementioned “Barcode” button and you’ll be given the option to “Copy All” or highlight individual parts of the text.
This can be particularly useful if you don’t have time to hover and copy some information – just grab a photo or video and come back whenever you want.
How to use Live Text in the Translate app
One of the big additions in iOS 16 is being able to access Live Text through the impressive Translate app. If you’ve never used the app before, you’ll find it in your App Library or through a Spotlight search.
Once signed in, there is a new option at the bottom of the screen to open the camera. It won’t translate in real time as you’ll need to take a picture, but the app works incredibly fast.
You can also choose the language after the fact, meaning if you need to translate a sentence into multiple languages, you can do it with ease.