One of iPhone 11’s hottest features is coming to older models

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Multi-cam recording won't be exclusive to the 2019 iPhone lineup.
Photo: Apple

One of iPhone 11’s hottest camera features is also making its way to older devices.

The ability to record from multiple cameras simultaneously will be available on iPhone XR, iPhone XS and XS Max, and the 2018 iPad Pro when iOS 13 rolls out to everyone later this week.

The new camera functionality allows you to combine feeds from multiple camera sensors into one video. It’s pretty impressive, at it blew everyone away when it was demoed at the iPhone 11 keynote.

But you don’t need to splash out on an iPhone 11 to take advantage of multiple camera recording.

iPhone XS cameras won’t miss out

The functionality is enabled by a new API in iOS 13. It lets you shoot something with the iPhone’s rear-facing camera while also recording your reaction from the front-facing camera.

You can also combine video from multiple rear-facing cameras, like the Wide and Ultra Wide sensors, or the Wide and Telephoto sensors. One feed is laid over the top of the other in its own window.

The API, which was first unveiled at WWDC back in June, was demonstrated using the Filmic Pro app running on an iPhone 11 Pro. But you will also be able to enjoy it on last year’s devices.

iPhone XR, iPhone XS and XS Max, and the 2018 iPad Pro will all offer the same feature when iOS 13 rolls out on September 19.

Third-party apps required

Multiple camera recording isn’t integrated into the build-in Camera app in iOS. You’ll need a third-party app to take advantage of it. You may also see slightly limited functionality on older devices.

On iPhone XS, for instance, only two simultaneous cameras will be supported. It’s not yet clear whether you’ll be able to record from three or more on 2019 handsets.

Nevertheless, this is great news for those with a 2018 iPhone who don’t plan to upgrade this year. Check out the WWDC session on multi-cam support to find out more.