Lift Objects from Photos on the iPhone

on February 28, 2024

Have you ever wanted to extract an object from a photo for use in another context? Starting with iOS 16 on a relatively recent iPhone, you can do that with many photos. In the Photos app, touch and hold the object, and if Photos can extract it, you’ll see a highlight run around its edges. Raise your finger, and a popover lets you copy the object, look up information about it, turn it into a sticker (in iOS 17), or share it. Or you can start dragging the object, switch apps with your other hand, and drop it into another app, like Messages. With Universal Clipboard, you can even lift an object on an iPhone, copy it, switch to Preview on your Mac, and choose File > New from Clipboard. File this one under Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law, which states, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

(Featured image by Adam Engst)


Social Media: Starting with iOS 16, Apple made it possible to extract objects from photos. You can drag objects to other apps, copy them, turn them into stickers, and more.

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