Visual Look Up, new with Monterey, and being rolled out to more users with the 12.3 update, is extremely complex and employs some of the most sophisticated technology in macOS. Some have already discovered that their Macs appear unable to use it, but as it has no controls, it’s impossible to discover why it won’t work. To provide insights into what’s going on in Visual Look Up, and what could be going wrong, I’ve added features to my utility Mints to explore it in depth.
This new version of Mints adds a Look Up button to its array for obtaining log extracts. This displays entries from no less that eight different sub-systems involved in the Visual Look Up mechanism:
- Argos (Siri)
as well as the
mediaanalysisd process. For the first time in any of Mints’ log features, log entries also include Signposts. Because these are recent sub-systems, they make good semantic use of the category field in log entries, so each entry is prefaced by any category used, another novel feature.
Log output is categorised using colour, to distinguish between entries by VisionKit, Espresso, PegasusKit and the rest.
The best way to use this is to start a Look Up at a known time, and to use that as the start time of a log extract. Rather than force you to perform that look up in another app such as Safari, Mints now has its own browser window with full support for Visual Look Up. This links to a new page here which contains a reference set of images you can use to test and assess Visual Look Up yourself. Open this special browser window using the Visual Look Up command in the Window menu.
Over the next few days, I’ll be publishing articles here showing how to use these new features, and analysing their results to bring a more detailed understanding of what macOS does during Visual Look Up.