Your iPhone camera can identify plants and flowers: here’s how

There are so many exciting iPhone tricks to discover once you start getting comfortable with Apple’s phone. And most of them are built into the operating system, so you don’t need to download an app to take advantage of them. An iPhone trick you may not know about is using the camera to identify plants and flowers: it’s called Visual Look Up.

It also works for other objects in your photos and screenshots. Here’s how it all works and how to get started on your iPhone.

Visual Look Up is a feature that Apple introduced in iOS 15 last year. Take advantage of Siri Knowledge to recognize objects in photos and provide more details about them. MacRumors highlights the plant and flower recognition function, but the same engine can also identify animals, tourist landmarks, books and art.

Siri Knowledge identifying plants and flowers on an iPhone running iOS 15.
Siri Knowledge identifies plants and flowers on an iPhone running iOS 15. Image source: Apple Inc.

How to identify plants and flowers with your iPhone camera

The principle is the same, whether it’s a plant and a flower or a different object you’re trying to identify. In each case, it all starts with taking a photo of the target. Or with a screenshot of an image containing the object you want to identify.

Once the iPhone saves the image, you can go to the Photos application to try to identify the object.

Open the image you just took/saved and look for the “Yosymbol ” in the bottom menu. If the button has a star in the left corner, it means that the iPhone was able to identify the plant or flower.

Then tap the button to bring up the results. Another option is to swipe up on the photo and the same results will appear.

iOS 15 can identify artwork, books, plants, landmarks, and animals with Visual Look Up.
iOS 15 can identify works of art, books, plants, landmarks, and animals with Visual Look Up. Image source: Apple Inc.

Finally, there is one more thing you need to do. A icon will appear on top of the target object. You are looking for a leaf for plants and flowers. Tap on it and the iPhone will open the Siri Knowledge panel allowing you to identify the object.

The icon will have a different symbol depending on the object, as seen in the images above.

Visual Look Up doesn’t always work

Unlike most of the hidden iPhone features that we highlight in our guides, the iPhone Visual Look Up trick may not always work. As you can see above, the phone needs to recognize the object in the photo for the Siri Knowledge panel to appear.

You may want to take additional photos of the target if you didn’t succeed on the first try. But before you start using iPhone to identify plants, flowers, and dog breeds, you need to make sure your hardware supports the feature.

How Visual Look Up works with pets.
How Visual Look Up works with pets. Image source: Apple Inc.

You will need an iPhone with an A12 Bionic chip or higher for Visual Look Up to work. That means devices prior to iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max cannot identify objects despite running iOS 15.

Additionally, Visual Search is only available in these languages ​​and markets: English (Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, UK, US), French (France), German (Germany), Italian (Italy), and Spanish (Mexico). , Spain, United States).

For iPad, you’ll need at least an iPad Air 3, iPad 8, or iPad mini 5 to run Visual Look Ups.

This Apple support document should provide additional help using Visual Look Up.


More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

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