5 great apps that bust out the bokeh on iPhone XS and XR

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The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS camera is pretty incredible. The device uses its two rear cameras, plus the A12 chip’s Neural Engine, to record such an accurate 3D map of the scene that you can adjust the background blur with a slider. But that depth map is useful for more than just blurring backgrounds. It can be used by other apps to:

  • Add realistic lights to a scene.
  • Choose any subject to be in focus, not just the one you picked when shooting.
  • Add custom background blurs.
  • Remove and replace backgrounds, like movie green-screen effects.

The iPhone XS is the gold standard for iOS cameras, but the XR manages some excellent tricks of its own. Despite having only one rear camera, the XR can still recognise people, and then use AI and the super-powerful A12 Neural Engine to separate out the person form the background. While this portrait matte isn’t as detailed as an iPhone XS depth map, it can in theory still be used to do many of the same tricks.

Today we’ll look at the best depth apps for the new iPhone XS, XR, and XS Max.

Facebook turns iPhone bokeh images into 3D Photos

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Facebook can turn a Bokeh image into a 3D one.
Facebook can turn a Bokeh image into a 3D one.
Photo: Facebook

Bokeh images look sort of three dimensional, with their subjects in focus and their backgrounds blurry. Facebook took this idea and ran with it. The social networking service created tech to turn bokeh pictures into 3D images.

The iPhone XS Camera review for iPhone 7 owners

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Depth Control gets confused by glass.
Depth Control gets confused by glass.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Most iPhone camera reviewers are upgrading from last year’s model, the incredible iPhone X. Most iPhone buyers are upgrading from an earlier iPhone, probably the iPhone 6s or 7. This review is for the buyers. In it, I compare the new iPhone XS camera to the iPhone 7 camera, and talk about just how massive an upgrade this is.

iPhone X owners shouldn’t feel left out, though. Camera-wise, the iPhone XS and XS Max might be the biggest iPhone upgrade since the iPhone 3GS added autofocus. One note: The iPhone XS Max has the exact same camera as the XS, so this review goes for both.

3-in-1 lens brings sweet bokeh to mirrorless cameras

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Just a twist will bring dreamy effects to pictures made with a mirrorless camera.
Just a twist will bring dreamy effects to pictures made with a mirrorless camera.
Photo: Lensbaby

Thanks to a software feature on the iPhone 7 camera, Apple fans are getting familiar with a term once heard in a language only spoken by photographers – bokeh.

It’s a Japanese word that means blur and the bokeh in a photograph refers to the areas that are not in focus. Creamy and dream are the effects when perfectly executed, especially with portraits, where a tack-sharp face pops against a background swirled in colors, light and distorted shapes

Before there was even an iPhone, the art optics company Lensbaby was producing lenses that gave photographers an affordable option to bring maximum bokeh to their work. On Wednesday, Lensbaby introduced a 3-in-1 lens for mirrorless cameras.

Bokeh Lifeblogging App Shares Memories A Day At A Time

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Bokeh is an iPhone app (and web service) for easily “lifeblogging” your photos and thoughts. And because nobody but you really cares about the mundane details of your days, Bokeh can be used as a private diary, too, albeit a private diary that you access via the web. So what’s the gimmick? What sets Bokeh apart from all the other lifeblogging apps out there? It has a great calendar view, making it easy to browse and zero-in on the exact memory you forgot.