OCR on photos in iOS 15: how it works

Text recognition, thanks to which the iPhone and iPad are able to find in the photo and in the field of view of their camera, typed and handwritten text and recognize it is one of the main wow factors of the new version of iOS. Was there something like that somewhere before? It was, I will not deny it. But we will return to the “past” a little later. Apple’s OCR function doesn’t just distinguish letters: it confidently recognizes animals, landmarks, and other objects in the world. But texts in languages ​​known to this function are its main competence. With the fact that Apple’s OCR function recognized as text, you can do everything that can be done with ordinary unchangeable text, and something else. Copy, translate or apply as intended. For example, if the text is a phone number, you can call it.

Live Text is a very cool feature. Sorry, it doesn’t work in Russian

Too good to be true? True, as always – a drop of ointment in a barrel of honey. In our case, it is not a drop but a drop. Apple’s OCR function speaks only seven languages, and Russian is not among them yet. English, Chinese, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Spanish are supported. And not on all Apple devices after installing iOS or iPadOS 15 on them, and in the near future and macOS Monterey , the OCR function will be able to work.

Режим Фокусирование в iOS 15: зачем он нужен

The list of compatible devices is shown below. Judging by the reviews of outraged users, for whom “iOS 15 does not work at all, in particular, the text recognition function does not work,” it makes sense to share a “life hack”: for the function to work, it must be enabled. In the “Camera” section, in the Settings. It is turned on by default, but for many complainants this function did not work precisely because someone (was it Tim Cook?) Turned it off.

iPhone with text recognition

Live Text only works on new iPhones

The function works on devices with Apple A12 Bionic chip or newer, and on devices with M1:

  • IPhone XS / XS Max / XR (released in 2018) and newer
  • IPad Pro 2020 and newer
  • 2019 iPad mini (5th generation) and later
  • 2019 iPad Air (3rd generation) and later
  • 2020 iPad (8th generation)
  • On all Macs and iPad Pros with an M1 or newer chip inside.

Что нового в приложении Погода в iOS 15

And why are these restrictions all of a sudden? Google’s OCR features have been around long before the Apple A12, even on iPhones running iOS 4. In 2010, it was an old OCR that was like the moon before Apple had a similar feature. But in December 2018 in iOS, it was replaced by a new one, Google Lens, which is just as good (if not better) Apple’s recognition function – and it worked on iPads and iPhones with much older chips. The explanation is simple: Apple’s recognizer does everything it needs to recognize text and other objects on the device. It’s faster and safer. The function works even when there is no connection.

How to copy text from a photo

The easiest way to work with photos that you already have on your device

In the Camera application, you need to point the camera at the text of interest. If the text is recognized as text, the application will highlight it with yellow brackets and a button will appear at the bottom right of the camera image. To capture text, just touch this button. If the capture is successful, a set of actions available to you will be displayed on the screen. Copy, translate and the like. If the text is not perceived by the function as text, nothing will happen.

You can recognize the text on the photo in the message that came in iMessage

Neither a button nor yellow brackets will appear around the area of ​​the screen in which the text is captured. This can happen if the text is too illegible or in a language that the OCR function does not know. If you select, for example, a phone number in the captured text, you will be offered a whole range of possible operations in such cases – you can call this number, send a message, contact the subscriber in FaceTime or FaceTime Audio, add it to Contacts, or simply copy (to the clipboard).

Главные фишки приложения Заметки в iOS 15 и iPadOS 15

If text is captured in the Camera application, when you activate the input field, a pop-up menu appears with the suggestions “Insert” and “Text from camera”. You can paste the text copied in the Camera application into any application. Support for the recognition function at this level will be able to add to their applications and third-party developers. This is not difficult.

But Live Text works in Safari and some other applications.

The OCR function can be used without the Camera application, in the Photos application and in some others. First you need to select the inscription you are interested in. This will require a long press in the area of ​​the photo in which this text is located. If it is legible and its language is known to the recognition function, it will be selected and highlighted, and a menu will pop up with the options available to you. Everything.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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