Use this quick tweak to fix the iPhone XS’ flat photos

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Punchy pomegranate, no auto-enhance required.
Punchy pomegranate, no auto-enhance required.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS’ camera is amazing, but put an unedited shot next to an unedited photo from the older iPhone X, or one of Google’s Pixel phones, and it looks a little flat. To “fix” this, you can tap the auto-enhancing Magic Wand tool on the edit screen, but this takes things too far in the opposite direction, making faces as orange as Florida bodybuilders.

I actually prefer the less-gaudy images from the XS, but sometimes they need a little extra pop. And the good news is, you don’t have to spend lots of time editing. There’s one slider built into the Photos app that will fix things up right away.

How to erase the background in your photos

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This needs some fine-tuning, but took just seconds to do.
This needs some fine-tuning, but took just seconds to do.
Photo: Cult of Mac

There are a bunch of reasons to remove the background from a photo. You might just hate the background — a perfect portrait ruined by crowds, or ugly construction work, or both. You may want to remove the background in order to extract the subject — maybe you’re doing some kind of Photoshop trick, or making a greetings card.

Whatever your reasons, it’s easy to do. Removing the background from an image used to be a nightmare. Now, you just need the right app. And if you’re a regular with our Cult of Mac photo how-tos, you probably have that app already.

How to fix up your janky Portrait Photos with Focos

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Portrait Mode is great, until it’s not. Fix failed focus with Focos.
Portrait Mode is great, until it’s not. Fix failed focus with Focos.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Portrait Mode in the iPhone XR and XS is hands-down amazing. In the time it take to snap a photo, the camera scans the depth of the image in front of it, and uses that data to blur the background, and make the subject pop out, sharp. But it doesn’t always work. The depth detection gets confused by glass, for example, ruining what could have been an amazing image.

Today we’re going to use and app called Focos to fix these depth glitches. Focos is an all-round focusing powerhouse of an app, recently updated to support the iPad, including the new iPads Pro. The area we’ll focus on today (sorry) is the ability to edit the depth map, and paint back in the glass or hair that the iPhone missed.

Lightroom-busting Darkroom comes to iPad

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In the olden days, this was the only way to edit your photos.
In the olden days, this was the only way to edit your photos.
Photo: Agirldamednee/Flickr CC

Even if you don’t have much interest in editing RAW and JPG images on your iPad, you might still want to check out Darkroom. The brand-new iPad version of the popular photo app offers a view of your standard iCloud Photo Library that’s better-looking and easier to use than the native Photos app. And that’s just for starters.

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The Apollo app brings immersive illumination to Portrait mode photos.
Before and after. The Apollo app brings immersive illumination to Portrait mode photos.
Photos: Indice

Take stabilized video and charge your phone all at once [Deals]

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This iPhone gimbal does double duty as a charging platform, with a bunch of other cool extras.
This iPhone gimbal does double duty as a charging platform, with a bunch of other cool extras.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Despite the great camera, taking great video with iPhone requires a few extra things. First, you’ll want something to reduce the shakiness of handheld video. Additionally, because the camera is a serious energy drain, you want something to keep your phone charged. So any iPhone videographer can get into this gimbal that does both.

How to change background blur in iPhone XS and XR photos

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Depth Control on iPhone XS
Depth Control can add subtle or wild background blur to your images.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS has an  amazing camera, and the best part of that camera is the Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the background blur after you take the photo.

This is a powerful feature, but to get the most out of it, you might want to check out these tips and tricks on using Depth Control on iPhone XS.

Make sure you get copies of all your family’s photos this holiday season

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Share family photos
The Camera Connection Kit has some surprising tricks.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

This weekend, you’re “enjoying” some extended time with your family. After you’ve fixed their devices, and taught them that the battery of their iPhone lasts way longer if they don’t leave the damn screen on the whole time, you might decide to swap some photos. You may grab the your old childhood snaps off your mother’s iPad, or photos of the family recipe book off your father’s iPhone.

There are a few ways to do this — slow, fast and faster, wired or wireless. Let’s see how to transfer photos between iPhones and iPads.

How to import photos into 2018 iPad Pro

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iPad photo import
Importing is dead easy.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’ve been able to import photos into an iPad ever since the first iPad launched. You had to buy a Camera Connection Kit to do it, which at the time consisted of two 30-pin Dock connectors, one with a USB-A port for hooking up cameras and CF readers, the other with an SD card slot. Since then, imports have gotten faster, and better. And the biggest difference with the 2018 iPad Pro is that now you can use any old USB-C card reader or hub to do the importing. Let’s see how it works.