Home / iPhone / This hidden iOS 17 feature makes a common household chore much easier to do

This hidden iOS 17 feature makes a common household chore much easier to do

Front of the iPhone 15 Pro with Nomad Modern Leather case.

Max Buondonno/ZDNET

Whether you’re the type of person who just throws all their laundry in the same cycle and hopes for the best or the type of person who meticulously separates colors and materials, a certain iOS feature could change how you do your household chores.

Also: iOS 17.1.2: A seemingly boring iPhone update you need to install now

For most people, the icons on a laundry tag might as well be hieroglyphics. And let’s be honest — who’s really taking the time to Google what each one means?

Enter a little-known iOS feature.

In Apple’s Photos app, if you swipe up on a photo you’ve taken, you’ll see information about when and where it was captured, the people in the photo, and more. But if you take a photo of the laundry tag on a piece of clothing and swipe up, you’ll see “Laundry Care.” 

Tap on that, and you’ll get an explanation of what every icon in the photo means. And not just a general chart where you still have to find your icons, but a list of the ones specific to your garment. 

iOS laundry tag

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

In an X post that went viral, user @caspararemi shared a discovery of the feature, adding “I’m suddenly a lot less scared of ruining expensive clothes.” A shared screen recording showed a photo of a laundry tag and then a multitude of explanations of what they meant, including wash by hand, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, do not iron, and dry flat. 

Also: Worried about iOS 17’s NameDrop feature? Here’s why I’m not turning it off

The post quickly garnered dozens of impressed replies, mostly echoing one response of “This will change my life.” Others pointed out the obvious fact that Google exists, and all it takes is a 10-second search to find a chart breakdown of these icons, but this is admittedly a much easier option.

In a test by ZDNET’s Editor in Chief, Jason Hiner, the feature worked as explained.

While Android doesn’t have an exact equivalent feature, I gave it a shot with Google Lens on my Pixel 8 Pro. I thought the app would be able to easily identify the icons at least individually through a Google search, but it actually couldn’t. Google kept suggesting random bits of abstract art or even actual hieroglyphics. I tried several garments with similar results, meaning that at least when it comes to laundry care, Apple has the edge for now. 

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