Microsoft's Seeing AI app gets iPad support, now lets users explore photos by touch

Seeing AI
Seeing AI (Image credit: Microsoft)

Since its launch in 2017, Microsoft's Seeing AI app, which is built to help visually impaired people interpret the world around them, has seen a wide range of accessibility improvements. Today, Microsoft is beefing up its capabilities even more by adding a new feature to explore photos by touch, as well as adding native iPad support.

The main attraction here is the touch feature, which relies on Microsoft's computer vision to identify what appears on the screen. Users can now tap portions of an image to have Seeing AI read a description of the objects they tap, along with their spatial relationship to other objects nearby. "Users can explore photos of their surroundings taken on the Scene channel, family photos stored in their photo browser, and even images shared on social media by summoning the options menu while in other apps," Microsoft says.

Rounding out the update is native iPad support, which ensures that the app is properly adjusted for larger displays. Seeing AI users can also now customize the order in which the app displays channels, making it easier and faster to access the features they use most.

Here's the full rundown of what's new, from the app's release notes:

  • Explore photos by touch: This new feature allows you to explore how objects in a photo are arranged. Select "Explore Photo" from the Scene channel, photo browser, or when recognizing photos from other apps. Then, move your finger over the screen to hear where objects are located.
  • All new iPad support.
  • Get faster access to your favorite features by customizing the order in which channels are shown.
  • On the Person channel, you can now teach Seeing AI to recognize someone new, directly from the main screen.
  • When recognizing photos from other apps, you will now hear the processing sound as in the main app.

The latest update to Seeing AI is available now via Apple's App Store.

See at App Store

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl