With just one click, animals, landmarks and plants can be identified on the iPhone – and even relatively accurately. The new function is a real benefit, especially if you have often wondered on hikes which plant grows along the way.

Apple has a problem: With every iOS update, so many new features are added that it is almost impossible for the iPhone manufacturer to really go into everything in one of the rare product presentations. As a result, practical tricks and tricks often take a while before the general public knows about them.

This is probably also the case with the somewhat dusty named “visual lookup” function. Behind this is an amazingly accurate recognition of animals, landmarks and plants. You can find out how to get the information here.

No additional app needed

If you have taken a photo of a plant, a cat or a dog, you will find an info button in the large view at the bottom of the screen. If the system has recognized something, the symbol consists of a framed “i” and two asterisks. If you tap on this button, a fairly extensive menu will open.

In the overview you will find information on the camera used and its settings, a location if GPS data is stored, and the time of the recording. Immediately below the image, once “visual lookup” has determined appropriate information, is a pawprint icon, map icon, or leaf icon.

If you tap on this menu item, the first time you use the function, a dialog opens that indicates that the information that follows will be retrieved from the Internet. With “Next” you get to the overview of what can be seen in the picture.

Maybe Dachshund, maybe Doberman

The so-called “Siri knowledge” usually suggests two possibilities. In the test, this caused amusement, especially with dog breeds, because the editorial dachshund was alternatively recognized as a Doberman or Black and Tan Coonhound – both breeds whose size a dachshund would not reach without stilts. But: The dachshund was always among the suggestions, i.e. the correct result. As a further help, iOS provides some images from the web to be able to compare in case of ambiguity.

This is particularly useful for plants, trees and flowers that iOS also recognizes. Simply take a photo of a leaf or flower and look up what it is – without an additional app. The same applies to cats, here too iOS recognizes the breed surprisingly reliably. In addition to animals and plants, landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower can also be recognized with the system. Practical: It provides the address and details with just one click – in the spirit of exploring the city.

“Visual lookup” is available for all devices that use at least an A12 Bionic processor, i.e. from the iPhone XS from 2018. Apple added the function with iOS 15, for the iPad it came on board from iPadOS 15.1.