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Live Text is THE Feature of iOS 152 min read

Each year, hidden in the deluge of new iOS features, is one that becomes the breakout star. Last year was the ability to customize your home screen with widgets. Along for that ride was an app called Widgetsmith that rocketed to “Instagram Must-Have” status due to how well it let people customize their iPhones. iOS 15 was released yesterday for everyone. This year, I believe the breakout feature for iOS 15 is Live Text.

The idea is simple. You point your camera at something with text in it and an icon appears. When you tap it a temporary photo is snapped and you can select the text. This allows you to copy, share, send, or do anything with that text as you please. It’s VERY handy.

Here’s the kicker: it works on photos you’ve already taken. Even the ones shot on earlier versions of iOS. Apple succinctly explains this feature in a single sentence:

Live Text intelligently unlocks rich and useful information in images, so you can make a call, send an email, or look up directions with just a tap on the highlighted text in a photo.

Apple’s iOS 15 Feature Page

I’ve used the feature a few times to text information to someone instead of snapping a picture & sending the image. It’s VERY handy when you need to get to a website but the URL you’re looking at does not have a QR code. Live Text has been one feature during all the iOS betas that has not changed (unlike Safari’s constant UI tweaks). It has worked perfect each & every time in the two months that I’ve been using it. While it may not be easily discoverable at first, once you know it’s there it becomes a must-have feature.

Whether I’m right or wrong in my prediction, I’m glad this feature exists. I do look forward to seeing what everyone ends up talking about in the coming days for the topmost “buzz worthy” iOS 15 feature.

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