How to Use Live Text on iOS to Extract Text From the Camera and Photos App

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

In this podcast from his series looking at some of what's new and notable in iOS 15, Thomas Domville Shows us Live Text, a feature that allows you to quickly recognize text and select, copy, paste, and lookup in both the Camera and Photos app.

Here’s how Apple describes Live Text:

Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognize text in a photo and allow users to take action. For example, users can search for and locate the picture of a handwritten family recipe, or capture a phone number from a storefront with the option to place a call. With the power of the Apple Neural Engine, the Camera app can also quickly recognize and copy text in the moment, such as the Wi-Fi password displayed at a local coffee shop. With Visual Look Up, users can learn more about popular art and landmarks around the world, plants and flowers found in nature, breeds of pets, and even find books.

Live Text is only available on devices which have an A12 Bionic chip or better. These are:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2020)
  • iPad Air 3rd generation
  • iPad mini 5th generation
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (2018 and later)
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2018 and later)
  • iPad 8th generation
  • iPad Air 4th generation
  • iPad Pro (2021)



Submitted by venova on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

I managed to get it working before but now it just says 0 people'

Submitted by Jo Billard on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

I have an older phone so won't be able to try this out, but I'm glad to know that my other apps will work just as well or better. I love learning about these new features, even if I can't yet make use of them.

Submitted by Teresa on Wednesday, September 15, 2021

I like having options, so now I have a few OCR apps and will have this function available.