Cut out your pet and paste it into the group chat. | Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

While the lock screen is one of the main features of iOS 16, there’s another nice addition that’s a little less obvious: the ability to easily crop subjects from photos. It’s a way to easily separate a subject from a background and quickly share or paste the results into applications. What normally takes a lot of time and effort when using photo editing software can be done with a few simple steps in iOS 16. It is surprisingly good and you can easily share the results with your group chat for maximum entertainment. This is how it works.

I followed these steps on both an iPhone 11 with iOS 16.0.2 and an iPhone 14 Pro with iOS 16.1 developer beta three.

  • Open Apple’s Photos app.
  • Find a photo in your camera roll with a subject you want to isolate and crop, such as a person, pet, or a prominent object.
  • Long press on the subject until you feel a haptic buzz and see a white border appear identifying your subject.
  • From here tap either To copy or Part.
Cats are ideal subjects for this kind of job.
You can copy or share your clipping directly.

If you copy the image, you can paste it anywhere you can paste a PNG image file, such as Google Search, Messages, or even a note. When you tap Share, you’ll see options to AirDrop it, save the image to your camera roll, assign it to a contact, or add it to a new Quick Note, among other things.

Essentially, that’s it! For a little more guidance on getting the best results, here are a few tips:

  • Any image saved to your camera roll is fair game – it doesn’t have to be shot with your iPhone.
  • It works best with people, pets, or clearly defined objects.
  • If you long-press an image and nothing happens, try again by pressing a different part of the image. If multiple attempts fail, it probably isn’t a good candidate for cropping images.


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