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WhatsApp for iOS gets text detection: what is it and how to use it


WhatsApp, owned by Meta, is widely rolling out a new feature for iPhone users. According to a report from WaBetaInfo, WhatsApp’s latest update to iOS 23.5.77 brings the ability to extract text directly from an image.

However, available on the Apple App Store, the update’s changelog does not mention the text detection feature. It only mentions the ability to record a voice note and share it via Status along with other features. But WaBetaInfo confirms in its report that more people who install the update will be able to use this feature.

What is WhatsApp Text Detection Feature?

This feature allows users to extract text from images shared on WhatsApp. Once the feature is available, users will need to open an image that contains text and they will see a new button that allows them to copy text from the image.

Readers should note that the feature is only available on iOS 16, as WhatsApp uses iOS 16 APIs to detect text in images. In addition, the feature is not compatible with once-viewed images for added privacy.

In other news, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature that will make it easier to recognize messages from unknown contacts in WhatsApp group chats. According to a report from WaBetaInfo, the instant messaging app has released the latest WhatsApp beta version for Android from the Play Store. The update improves on the feature that WhatsApp introduced in December 2022 that swapped numbers with push names in the message bubble of group chats.

According to a screenshot shared in the report, every time a user receives a message from an unknown contact in a group chat, a user sees a push name instead of the mobile number in the chat list. The same feature has also been released to some iOS beta testers after installing the WhatsApp beta for iOS update.

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.