Now iOS 16 is out of beta and available to most iPhone users. Those getting their hands on it for the first time with the iPhone 14 or with older compatible devices are getting to grips with its new features including lockscreen customization, new-look notifications and editable iMessage messages.
But one impressive new feature is blowing people’s minds, thanks to a viral TikTok video (opens in new tab) showing exactly how easy it is to crop objects from photos instantly. At the time of writing, it’s closing in on 500,000 likes.
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In the video, an adorable-looking dog is instantly cropped from a photo, before being pasted into iMessages without any background clutter. It really is remarkable, even if it was something Apple originally revealed back in July.
How to isolate, copy and share subjects in iOS 16
As promised, I’m now the owner of a shiny new iPhone 14 Pro, so can walk you through the process of how it’s done. Do note, however, that it relies on the machine learning and image analysis features introduced with the A12 Bionic chip. In practical terms, that means that only iPhones from 2018 (i.e: iPhone XS and iPhone XR) and later can do it.
1. Find a photo with a well-defined subject you want to crop. Here’s my old boy Hamilton looking suitably dashing.
2. Hold down on the subject you want to isolate until a white glowing line appears around the edge and release. You’ll now see the option to copy to your clipboard or share directly to another app.
3. Et voila — Hamilton is now the sole focus of this WhatsApp message.
It’s all very impressive and reminds me of another brilliant iOS feature that a friend of mine found purely by accident recently, where you can copy and paste text from saved images too.
It works much the same way. Just open a picture that has text in it, press down on the text and then adjust the selector dots to the part you want to copy. Here it is working its magic on the lock screen of my Kindle Paperwhite:
Still getting to grips with your new iPhone? Be sure to read our collection of iOS 16 tips and tricks for more neat features you’ll want to learn about.