Skip to main content

4 new features in iOS 15 you can use to boost your gardening routine

There are tools to help with just about every aspect of gardening, from the most basic shovel to the highest tech gadgets. However, some of the newest gardening tools just might be on your phone; if you have an iPhone, that is. iOS 15 brings with it a host of useful updates that can make life easier for users, but you may be wondering how it can help you with your garden. While you might be able to find a use for many of the new features in your garden, we’ve found four in particular with a lot of potential.


The Focus feature is a handy tool to cut out distractions and, as the name suggests, focus. Essentially, it allows you to filter your notifications, choosing which apps can still notify you and which are stopped. You can even create multiple Focus listings with different names and notification settings, so you don’t need to worry about manually altering your permission list for recurring activities.

If you enjoy gardening without interruptions, then you may already see the benefit of Focus. Many gardeners use their time in the garden to relax and get away from some of the stress of day-to-day life. Nothing disturbs that peace quite like the ding, buzz, or light of a phone, and there’s nothing as frustrating as checking your phone only to find that the notification was something completely irrelevant. You can use Focus to reclaim that tranquility by setting up a Focus for gardening, filtering out the notifications you don’t need, and switching it on whenever you step out into your garden.

A woman holding a phone and a mug, standing next to some purple flowers
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Live Text

Live Text is a feature which recognizes text in photos and lets you interact with it. You can use it to copy and paste, search, or translate text, including handwriting. Live Text can be used on photos you’ve taken, but also on screenshots and in live previews using the phone’s camera.

This can be useful in any number of situations, but, in regards to gardening, it’s particularly useful when dealing with signs. Nurseries, parks, botanical gardens, and gardening stores are all known to use signs or labels to identify plants. Sometimes the signs will have helpful information about the plants, but other times they only list the plant’s scientific name. The scientific names can be tricky to spell, or take a while to type, but now you can use Live Text to take that name straight from a photo to your search bar.


Safari is the web browser that comes standard on Apple products, and it, too, has gotten some new features with the iOS 15 update. One of these changes is a redesign that makes Safari easier to navigate with only one hand. This is great for busy people who might need to make a quick search while on the move.

Gardening can sometimes be a handful, literally, so a browser that can be used one-handed can come in handy. It’s helpful if you have one hand occupied with holding plants or tools, but gardening can also be a bit messy. If you have a hand covered in dirt, compost, or water, you probably won’t want to use your phone with that hand. While you can wash your hand before touching your screen, that’s a bit impractical if you just need to make a quick internet search.

Woman standing in a greenhouse, holding a tablet up to a plant
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Visual Lookup

Visual Lookup works similarly to Live Text, except instead of recognizing text in an image, it recognizes objects or things. Using Visual Lookup, you can find information about something even if you don’t know what the thing you’re curious about is called, simply by snapping a quick picture of it.

If you’re out and about, this feature can be extremely useful for identifying plants. Since all you need is a picture, you can easily identify plants in forests, parks, or even gardens. That’s not all you can use it for, though. There are plenty of strange looking insects to be found in gardens, and Visual Lookup might be able to help you figure out what they are and if they’re friend or foe.

Ultimately, how useful a tool is depends on how you use it. These four tools, though, have the potential to improve your daily gardening routine. Focus, Live Text, Visual Lookup, and the Safari redesign have many practical uses, both in and out of the garden. Try them out next time you step out to do some gardening, and see what they can do for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Cayla Leonard
Cayla Leonard is a writer from North Carolina who is passionate about plants.  She enjoys reading and writing fiction and…
The 3 best gardening gloves to protect your hands from prickly plants and pests
Gardening gloves

Nothing beats the feeling of fresh soil, but handling dirt with your bare hands isn’t the best course of action for very long. Besides carrying potentially harmful microbes, fungi, pests, and germs, soil can get everywhere. Plus, scrubbing dirt from nails can be a grueling task and prolonged exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, and sunlight can lead to dry, damaged hands. Reliable gardening gloves can protect you from all of that, providing open cuts or wounds a barrier from infection. Disposable gloves can be a quick fix, but they’re not durable or eco-friendly in the grand scheme of things. To find the best gardening gloves out there, read ahead to learn about which factors to consider when selecting a pair and where you can buy the right one for you.

What to look for when buying garden gloves
If you’ve ever walked into a big-box hardware store, you’ve probably seen dozens of gloves lined up. With so many options out there, how do you even start to find the right ones? Here are the top factors to weigh before investing in a pair.

Read more
Good, better, best: A guide to the best humidifiers for your indoor garden
An indoor garden humidifier

It’s no question that houseplants help improve the warmth, aesthetic, and presence of a space. They brighten up your home, and the variety of leaves, sizes, and flowers makes them versatile for shelves, hanging baskets, and even desks. In the summer, they’re thriving — growing steadily and thanking you for all the care you put in. But sometimes when the cold sets in, you may notice your plants getting a bit sad. One of the biggest reasons for this is a lack of humidity.

With the colder months comes a drier climate, and although plants can naturally create their own humidity when gathered together in a group, they may need a bit of extra help. An indoor garden humidifier can help give your plants the boost they need to survive the cold season and carry on into the spring. But how do you know which one is right for you?
Choosing the best humidifier for your space
When it comes to choosing the best humidifier for your indoor garden, there are a few things to consider:

Read more
4 important lessons we learned from Crazy Plant Guy’s YouTube channel
Pilea plant

Alongside channels such as Planterina and House Plant Journal, Crazy Plant Guy is one of the main fixtures on plant YouTube. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Crazy Plant Guy, or Christian Esguerra, is known for his plant care guides, tours, and recommendation lists. His videos are often fun and playful while also full of helpful information for both beginner and seasoned plant enthusiasts alike. Since 2017, Esguerra has been spreading his love of plants with the YouTube community — here are the best lessons he’s shared thus far.

Repotting time is an ideal window for aerating soil and taking cuttings.
While this video specifically covers Esguerra’s (now notoriously gigantic) pilea peperomioides, it includes versatile tips about repotting plants in general. As he repots the pilea plant, he moves it into aerated soil, using a well-draining mix of 50% cacti soil, 45% potting mix, and 5% orchid bark and perlite. He reminds us not to pack in the new soil — keep the mix aerated to prevent root rot. Remember to use the opportunity of repotting your plant to take cuttings, too. Just don’t overdo it, or else you may shock your plant when you transplant it.

Read more