How to get more from Apple’s Measure app


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The cute but slow Measure app has been revitalized by LiDAR on the iPhone 12 Pro to become far faster and even more useful.

Come back to the Measure app. It was always fun, it always seemed impressive, yet it was also always a bit less useful than you expected. Now it’s much more useful.

Measure is Apple’s app for finding out the length of a wall or some object’s size, all using the iPhone’s camera. It’s useful for measuring regardless of whether or not you’re close to an object, and your angle to it.

That’s still what it does, and in truth, there’s not actually been a change to the Measure app — but there has been to your iPhone, and it makes all the difference. The addition of LiDAR to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max has invisibly changed the Measure app.

It’s invisible in that you don’t have to do anything to benefit. There are no settings or controls to alter at all.

However, it’s also very visible in how much more accurate and responsive it is. You’re far less likely to get the “Move iPhone to start” message that used to make Measure feel slow.

How to measure anything in the Measure app

  1. Open Measure and point the camera at any object, place or person
  2. Look for the white dot that appears in center of your screen when Measure is ready
  3. Line that dot up with where you want to start measuring
  4. Tap the plus sign
  5. Move the camera so that the dot travels along the object
  6. Tap the plus sign again to stop

As you move the camera, you’ll see a line stretching out behind the white dot. Above it, there is a constantly-updating label showing you the measurement so far.

Move the camera to make the white dot travel along a side of an object

Move the camera to make the white dot travel along a side of an object

When you’ve measured something, you can look to see what the label says is the final figure. Alternatively, you can tap on the menu button at top left.

Once you’ve tapped that, you get a pop-up showing that last measurement. Or if you’ve measured many things in this session, you’ll see them all listed — though you may have to scroll to find them.

You can read the figures, you can Copy them to paste somewhere later, or you can Share them.

That’s it — for the very most basic of measurements. It’s simple enough and now also fast enough that you…