Apple didn’t announce any significant AI updates during its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote today, but it has quietly rolled out some minor computer vision upgrades with its latest iPhone software. , iOS 17. In addition to now allowing users to turn their own photos into stickers by cutting out the subject of their photos, another new feature called Visual Look Up will allow users to search for recipes directly from a photo.
The addition was not among those previewed during the keynote itself, but rather popped up on a teaser page for iOS 17 on Apple’s website afterwards.
There aren’t many details on how it will work, although it looks pretty straightforward at first glance. In iOS 17, photos of food will be identified as such, and you can then search for similar dishes. For example, in the photo illustrating this on the page, photos of quinoa bowls lead to recipe suggestions for other quinoa dishes, and specifically breakfast foods, as shown in the photo. If it works as described, it could be a handy way to get inspiration for what to cook, without having to search the web, although it probably can’t guide you to the specific recipe for the dish pictured.
The addition, however, is another example of how Apple is subtly redirecting users away from Google Search by having them launch their queries directly on the iPhone. In this case, the search results provided would return users to the recipe website, bypassing Google, whereas in years past Spotlight improvements have seen users skip a Google search to reach Wikipedia pages. or to find information about actors, movies, shows, and special card musicians that appear in Spotlight search results.
Spotlight’s only major update this year doesn’t focus on web searches, however, but instead introduces something called “Top Hits” – or common app shortcuts – when you search for an app. For example, a search for Photos might suggest shortcuts like Recents or Favorites.
Elsewhere in iOS 17, improvements to Visual Look Up will allow users to pause videos to then search for information on the topic by tapping an information icon.
The same tool will let you search for information about the subject you’ve cut out of your own photo – a feature introduced last year with iOS 16. One of the more fun additions back then, you can “take” an object of a photo with the touch of a finger. The system can identify pets, plants, landmarks and other objects in your photos. The cut image will then be pasted into a text message or other applications.
With iOS 17, Apple will allow you to turn these cutouts into a sticker. With the new Live Stickers feature, users can cut out the subject of their own photos, or now paused videos, to save them as stickers, which can also include effects. Stickers are then accessible on iOS 17, including third-party apps.