Microsoft’s innovative Seeing AI app has scored a major update. Designed for those with low-vision, it’s long been a staple in that community, and has received three strong additions.

For the unfamiliar, Seeing AI uses machine learning to help the visually impaired, using a smartphone camera to describe text, items, and clothing colors. It can recognize currency, handwriting, and even plays varying audio cues for the level of light in a room.

With the app’s most recent update, Microsoft is taking the functionality further. Users are now able to ‘explore photos by touch’. Within a single image, they’re able to tap on different sections to get a description of an object within them, as well as the relationship with the objects around it.

It may not be quite as easy as a video feed, but this is actually a very significant addition. It means users can quickly get a description of family photos or even those from social media. Microsoft is letting users summon the feature while in other apps to quickly get descriptions of images from Facebook, Google, etc.

iPad Support and Channels

Going hand-in-hand with this is the addition of native iPad support. Having a bigger screen will make the tap to describe feature far easier to use. Microsoft is also thinking about professional environments where smartphones are disallowed.

Finally, tweaks have been made to channels, with users able to customize which are shown and their order. Microsoft has also made some chanels easier to access, putting the face recognition function on the main screen.