With iOS 16, users of the iPhone will be able to make changes to Messages and the lock screen. However, I found one aspect of WWDC 2022 particularly interesting, and it only lasted for about 15 seconds.
Not even a name has been given to the feature, but here’s how it operates: To isolate a person or object in a photo from their background, tap and hold on to the image.
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When you release your finger from the screen, the cutout will be released from the photo and can be dragged into another app to be used in a different way, such as posting, sharing, or creating a collage.
Photos of plants, food, landmarks, and even pets can be identified with the tap-and-lift feature, which is technically a part of Visual Lookup, a feature introduced in iOS 15. iOS 16’s Visual Lookup feature made it possible to selectively crop an image or PDF for a specific object with a single tap and hold.
An image of a French bulldog was used by Apple’s senior director of Siri Language and Technologies, Robby Walker, to demonstrate the new tap-and-lift feature. When composing a message, the dog was “cut out” of the photo and pasted into the body of the message.
“It feels like magic,” Walker said.
Apple may use the word “magic” a little too often at times, but this app appears to be quite useful. Walker was quick to point out that Apple’s neural engine and core machine learning were responsible for speeding up the model so that it could process 40 billion operations per second, causing the effect.
It thrills me to no end to think about how much computing power and machine learning are required to remove a dog from a photograph. New smartphone capabilities are often expected to be ground-breaking or provide significant benefits. I suppose you could say that the tap-and-hold tool resolves the potentially serious issue of how to eliminate a photo’s background.
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