Apple’s image cropping feature in iOS 16 is the best thing to come out of WWDC 2022 – TechCrunch

Of all the features Apple announced at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last week, this is a new addition to Apple’s Visual Lookup system — a feature that lets you “pick up” an object from a photo or video with just a tap of a button. your finger – was the most fun.

While Apple introduced some interesting new features to its software at the event, they didn’t quite offer the surprise and joy that comes with using its deceptively simple new photo cropping feature – an improvement on Apple’s existing Visual Lookup system. . Launched last year with iOS 15Today Visual Lookup recognizes pets, plants, landmarks and other objects in your photos. But now, if you touch and hold the subject of the image, you can take it off the background to use it in other apps.

Essentially, the feature separates the background of the photo from the subject and then turns the subject into a separate image. This image can then be saved or dragged and dropped into a messaging app like iMessage or WhatsApp.

Apple’s new visual lookup feature. Image Credits: Apple

During the keynote, Apple described the addition as the product of an advanced machine learning model, accelerated by CoreML and the neural engine to perform 40 billion operations in milliseconds.

In our early testing on iOS 16 developer beta, the feature works surprisingly well with animals, people, and objects. We’ll probably see this feature used to create memes and countless animal stickers when it goes live.

Object separator is a long sought after feature in all photo editing apps. It used to be that you had to use apps like Photoshop or Pixelmator to meticulously draw a boundary to select an object and port it to another image. Tools like and Background remover from Canva have made the process easier, but it’s amazing that this feature is built into the iPhone’s operating system. Apple said the feature “feels like magic,” and in this case, the hyperbole isn’t entirely out of place. This feature surprises.

It’s not limited to photos either, it turns out. Apple took advantage of the new functionality to improve other apps as well. For example, if you long-press an image in Safari, you’ll see an option called ‘Copy Subject’, which does the same thing as Visual Lookup: removes the background.

Apple's Visual Lookup Feature... But With a New Name

Apple’s Visual Lookup feature… but with a new name. Image Credits: Apple

A message on reddit also suggested that this feature is also present in the Files app. If you select an image, go to the options available as ‘Remove background’.

And on the lock screen, Apple’s ability to understand what part of the photo is the subject creates a layered look where a portion of the photo can be superimposed over various lock screen elements, such as the date and time.

Of course, this feature is not intended to replace more advanced image editing tools. While you may use it to create a lot of collages, memes, and posters without putting in too much effort, you’ll still need image editing software like Pixelmator or Photoshop on the desktop or something like Snapseed if you want to overlap the separated. object in another photo, for example.

Apple isn’t the only company showing its AI chops regarding object separation. Last year, Google has introduced the Magic Eraser feature with the Pixel 6, which lets you remove unwanted objects from a photo while leaving other parts of the image intact.

An image on the beach before using 'magic eraser' and after, with background people removed.

Image Credits: google

Both features have their own advantages and both are extremely useful in day-to-day photo editing. It would be great if Google and Apple decide to copy each other to include both features in their respective mobile operating systems.

The new Visual Lookup feature is just one of the many features Apple has introduced in the updated iOS 16 Photos app. As TechCrunch noted: last weeknew additions, such as password protection for hidden photos and the ability to copy and paste styles, are likely to entice people to use the iPhone’s built-in editing tools more.

The new feature was one of the other notable improvements announced at WWDC. One of the most talked about is Stage manager, a new addition focused on improved multitasking for iPadOS and macOS, which represents a significant change to the user interface. Meanwhile, the Live Activities feature can give you real-time updates from apps, such as a sports game you’re interested in or the location of an Uber ride or pizza delivery. But this is more of a practical update, not necessarily a “nice” update.

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