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Last year in iOS 15, Apple added a feature that is designed to let you highlight and select written and typed text from photos, interacting with it as you would text in any other place in the operating system.


With iOS 16, likely launching to the public in September, Apple has continued to improve Live Text, and it 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. Rather than just being able to select text in photos, you can now pause a video and interact with the text like you would in an image.

Text in any paused video frame can be copied and pasted or translated, plus it 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 on the frame that you want and then touch and hold on a word. You can grab the two blue markers to narrow or widen your selection, and then you can press and hold to get to options like translate and copy.

Quick Actions

Text that is in a photo or a video also supports quick actions, something that Apple added in iOS 15. In iOS 16, there are new quick actions that let you track flights, track packages, translate languages, and convert currencies right from a photo or video.

If you have a photo with a sign in a foreign language, for example, you might see the "Translate" quick action available. Or if there's a foreign currency, Apple will offer up the conversion quick action.

Translate Camera

Apple is using Live Text's functionality in the Translate app, adding a Camera button that opens up the device camera so you can get live translations in real time.

New Languages

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 allow for text to be recognized in photos and videos can be used in Spotlight search in iOS 16, so you can do a Spotlight search to find specific text in an image or video.

Live Text Requirements

Using Live Text features requires an iPhone with an A12 Bionic or later. The iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max from 2018 are equipped with an A12 Bionic, so if you have one of these devices or newer you can take advantage of Live Text.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Live Text in iOS 16, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Article Link: All of the Live Text Updates in iOS 16
 
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jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
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These are all great. If they can scan the whole video for text seems like they should scan the whole video for faces as well but often seems like it only scans first few seconds.

I know apple has been behind in this area so glad to see them working to catch up.
 

FloatingBones

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2006
1,401
570
I love MacOS 12's Live Text. It's so cool to just grab text blocks in Preview. The interface is so unpresuming: just select the text to copy, and paste it elsewhere. So much computation happening behind the scenes! I haven't used on iOS/iPadOS, but I'm sure it's just as easy.

Apple experts should show these cool tools to their less technical friends. They will benefit from using these magical tools; they will think fondly of you for showing them the tools.
 
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techfreak23

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2013
524
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It's a useful feature, but it has added an annoyance when doing certain tasks. A lot of times, if I'm holding down a YouTube thumbnail that has text in it, Live Text will pick it up instead of opening the contextual menu. Hopefully videos aren't going to have the same issue.
 

munpip214

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2011
574
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It's a useful feature, but it has added an annoyance when doing certain tasks. A lot of times, if I'm holding down a YouTube thumbnail that has text in it, Live Text will pick it up instead of opening the contextual menu. Hopefully videos aren't going to have the same issue.
Definitely have the same experience. More often than not I don’t want the live text enabled. anyway to disable it?
 

Mr. Awesome

macrumors 65816
Feb 24, 2016
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Idaho, USA
These are all great. If they can scan the whole video for text seems like they should scan the whole video for faces as well but often seems like it only scans first few seconds.

I know apple has been behind in this area so glad to see them working to catch up.
That’s not exactly what it does. It scans the current frame for text when you pause the video. It doesn’t scan the whole video for text.
 

mirzank

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2008
223
2
Translate now also works with Turkish which it didn’t in iOS 15 (atleast till the last version I had before I updated to the public beta).

Also another thing I noticed is that within apps if a photo has foreign language sometimes I’m able to select the text on the photos. Same goes for websites. But it doesn’t seem to work all the time, so I’m not sure if this is because it’s actually not all a photo and it’s actual text on a photo background or if Apple is just working out the kinks. If I click and drag around the photo I see the text on the photo being dragged around so assume it’s actually a photo.
 

gaximus

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,835
3,301
Live text is awesome wish it worked everywhere. There are still several apps that won’t let me copy the text, I have to take a screenshot, and then save it to photos, then open photos, find the photo, and then copy the text.
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2012
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My memory has turned into mush ever since I started using the Live Text feature to transcribe names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. Now I have trouble remembering a few digits ;)
You're sure that's just because of Live Text? Pretty sure my brain was mush before all the nice tech came around :p
 
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Tevosn

macrumors member
Aug 6, 2020
58
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Settings > General > Language & Region. Then turn off the toggle button next to “Live Text“.
Mine was disabled by default, and was looking for a way to enable it, thank you!

Edit: Seems to work fine, except videos in safari, full screen or not. Anyone else have this problem?
 
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mirzank

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2008
223
2
Live text is awesome wish it worked everywhere. There are still several apps that won’t let me copy the text, I have to take a screenshot, and then save it to photos, then open photos, find the photo, and then copy the text.
Ah so it does work in pictures in apps! I agree it’s quite inconsistent. I thought the reason it was inconsistent was because it was only copying actual text when possible instead of text within a picture.
 

AndiG

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2008
566
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Germany
I really love Live Text (NOT invented by Apple). Now available in videos,too. Is this amazing? Is it still amazing, when you think of the fact that a video is a series of pictures and then when you pausee/stop a picture is shown, or more exactly a picture is shown with live text enabled?

Ok, it may be a little bit more complicated and may involve more procrocessing.

But here is what I did with a youtube video (amazing, awesome me) using iOS15:


6256AAA2-1D49-44AF-94A3-434ACB5E23F9.jpeg
 
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