On iPhone and iPad, Apple's Visual Look Up feature for photos makes it possible to isolate the subject of a picture from its background so that you can copy it to the clipboard for use elsewhere or share it in another app.


Apple says the feature relies on advanced machine learning, and its ability to recognize and isolate subjects from a variety of photos is pretty impressive.

In fact it's so easy to use that performing painstaking subject isolation actions in image editing apps could soon become a thing of the past. Here's how it works.

  1. Launch Photos and select an image from your library containing a well-defined subject.
  2. Press and hold on the subject until it ripples and a white glow flows around its outline.
  3. In the popup menu that appears, tap Copy to send the isolated subject to the clipboard for pasting elsewhere, or tap Share... to access the standard sharing options in the Action menu and send it on its way.
    photos

  4. Alternatively, press and hold the subject to lift it from the background. Now, without taking your finger off the screen, use another finger to exit the ‌Photos‌ app and launch Messages, Mail, Notes, or another app that accepts images.
  5. Now drag and let go of the subject to place it where you want in the input field.
    photos

That's all there is to it. You can even use it in paused frames in videos. The feature works not just in ‌Photos‌, but also in screenshots and the Quick Look feature in the Files app.

As mentioned, the feature uses advanced machine learning and image analysis, therefore it is only available on phones with the A12 Bionic or newer chip. The A12 Bionic processor debuted in 2018 in the ‌iPhone‌ XS, ‌iPhone‌ XS Max, and the ‌iPhone‌ XR, so you need to be using one of these iPhones or a later model for it to work.

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that Apple's AI strategy emphasizes providing...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware

Tuesday May 28, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released new firmware update for both the Lightning and USB-C versions of the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 6F7, up from the 6B34 firmware released in November. Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update. Apple does not give...
new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
iOS 18 WWDC 24 Feature 2

Gurman: iOS 18 Will Allow Users to Recolor App Icons and Place Them Anywhere

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:22 pm PDT by
Apple's iOS 18 update will introduce new features for further customizing the iPhone's home screen, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman claimed that Apple will allow users to change the color of app icons in iOS 18. For example, "you can make all your social icons blue or finance-related ones green." This kind of home screen...
iPad Pro Landscape Apple Logo Feature

Apple Says Future iPads Could Feature Landscape Apple Logo

Monday May 27, 2024 6:31 am PDT by
French website Numerama interviewed three senior Apple employees about the new iPad Pro models that launched earlier this month. While the discussion did not reveal many new details, it did mention one potential change for future iPads. While the Apple logo on the back of iPads is positioned so that it appears upright in vertical orientation, the devices are often used in landscape...