iOS 15 brings many new features to the Photos app, including an educational one called Visual search! This option uses machine learning technology to recognize highlighted objects and scenes from images. It uses the Siri Knowledge Base to provide information as well as other web sources.
What is visual search in photos?
Your iPhone is now available to recognize and highlight the main subject of an image available in the Photos app. iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 can automatically detect art, monuments, nature (plants, trees, etc.), books, and animals as long as they are the main subject of an image.
Made: Visual search works even if the image was not captured on an iPhone. It can be any photo, screenshot, or image uploaded to the web!
How to use visual search
- 1. Open Pictures.
- 2. Drag for the picture that you want to search visually.
- 3. Press the star and circled “i” icon in the bottom menu.
- 4. A small icon (leaf, paw, sticker, book or pin) is displayed in the middle of the photo. Press it to display the Visual Look Up map.
- 5. Swipe up to develop the Visual Look Up map and consult all the results available on the analyzed subject.
Review Siri Knowledge Results along with similar images and other resources available on the web.
Visual search Show more
If you want to know more, you can press Show more, available next to Siri knowledge.
You can also tap on a result to get more details.
Finally, you can use the ” See more on [website]’ link to open the referenced web page in Safari.
Visual search categories
Five categories are available: art, monuments, nature, books, and pets.
Advice: The small icon displayed in the middle of the photo alludes to the subject category highlighted by the visual search function.
Visual search not available?
Visual Look Up not working on your iPhone or iPad?
First of all, be aware that this is a new iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 feature.
Second, you should know that all the pictures in Pictures qualify for visual search. If the image does not contain a defined subject or if Siri cannot identify the scene, no Visual Look Up option is displayed.
Advice: If no star is available in the upper left corner of the “i” icon, this means that Visual Lookup is not available!
Made: At the time of writing, Visual Lookup cannot be disabled or enabled in Settings -> Photos.
IOS 15 Visual Search Gaps
Like most new features, Visual Look Up is far from perfect. Don’t be surprised if it’s far in some cases.
For example, I tested it during a mushroom picking session and found that Siri cannot currently identify any mushrooms. Perhaps this is intentionally omitted, since to visually search for species of mushroom involves a great deal of responsibility. But to confuse it with an ornamental onion is not excusable.
However, I also noticed that Visual LookUp cannot identify popular animals like horses. Nonetheless, Apple says Siri is able to recognize pets in photos and does not use the broader term “animals”.
However, he seems able to differentiate between dog breeds!
Have you tried Visual Look Up in iOS 15? Do you find it reliable enough? Share your comments using the comments section.
Related: Other new features available in iOS 15 Photos are:
– How to check EXIF metadata of images.
– Drag and drop photos between apps.