A new feature of 2023’s Apple iOS 17 update helps people decode their laundry symbols. But it seems not many iPhone users know about the function—or why it’s important.
A TikToker named Aleisa (@wtfaleisa) recently pointed this out in a video that by Tuesday had more than 3.3 million views.
“You can take a picture of the tags of your clothes,” she says, “and if you have an iPhone, your phone will just tell you exactly how to take care of those clothes.”
Much like with photos of your cat or dog, if you take a photo of the clothing tag and then tap the illuminated “i” icon at the bottom, it leads you to a “Look Up Laundry Care” link. It then deciphers the meaning of certain laundry symbols, such as “Do not dry clean.”
I love living in the future♬ original sound – wtfaleisa
Many commenters on Aleisa’s post had some variation of the same response: The instructions are on the tag. So what’s the big deal?
“‘The instructions are on the tag’ yeah and they are often in English by default and sold like that even in non English speaking countries,” said one commenter. Often, clothing tags only contain symbols.
Aleisa posted a follow-up video to address these comments.
@wtfaleisa Replying to @lisa ♡ ♬ original sound – wtfaleisa
“Have you considered,” she says, “that people with visual impairments exist? Have you thought about how some people can’t read text that tiny on a tag? Did it cross your mind that people with bad eyesight, from a birth disability or a plethora of other reasons, really enjoy—nay—need a tool like that to live their lives how they want to in a world that is not accessible to them?”
“The fact that the feature exists means that someone had to design it,” said one commenter. “Which means that there was a demand for it.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Aleisa and Apple for comment.