iOS 12 packs a whole host of significant improvements that Apple didn’t get a chance to showcase during its WWDC preview. One of those, according to one developer, is a greatly-enhanced Portrait mode for compatible iPhone models.
The image below highlights the impressive difference between a Portrait photo taken with iOS 11 and another taken with iOS 12.
Portrait mode and optical zoom are made possible by the secondary camera sensor inside Apple’s more expensive iPhone models. Optical zoom is a wonderful addition to any smartphone camera, while Portrait mode — on the iPhone, at least — can deliver mixed results.
In some cases, Portrait mode works wonders and you get a fantastic photo with perfect background blur. But in most cases, Portrait mode is a disappointment because it blurs the edges of your subject as well.
Other smartphones, like the Google Pixel 2, do a much better job. But that could be about to change.
Check out improved Portrait mode in iOS 12
It seems Apple has been working to improve Portrait mode for iOS 12. Ben Sandofsky, creator of Halide Camera, the manual camera app for iPhone, has discovered that Portrait mode delivers much better results under iOS 12 than it did under iOS 11.
As you can see in the photo below, iOS 12 does a significantly better job of identifying the edges of a subject. It even highlights individual hairs, which was almost never possible under iOS 11.
It’s not clear if Sandofsky used the iPhone’s front- or rear-facing camera for these images. We’ve asked for more details. But either way, it’s clear Apple has made huge improvements to Portrait mode that should provide us with much better photos.
iOS 12 will make its public debut this fall, and it’s a free upgrade for all compatible devices.