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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.

Enable this great Shoot Mode with Siri Shortcuts to take pictures in peace

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The iPhone XS is a serious camera, so give it the attention it deserves.
The iPhone XS is a serious camera, so give it the attention it deserves.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Were you ever in the middle of trying to get that perfect photo, framing it just-so, and tweaking the exposure and focus for the perfect shot, when your mother called to remind you of your own child’s birthday? It could totally happen. And for pro photographers using the iPhone as their preferred camera (which is a great idea, BTW), the risk of interruptions is even greater.

That’s why noted iPhone photographer Austin Mann came up with a great way to shut up your iPhone while you’re busy shooting. It’s called Shoot Mode, and it’s yet another example of how useful Siri Shortcuts can be — even in tiny doses.

Halide fixes iPhone XR’s Portrait Mode

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Best iPhone photo accessories
Halide unlocks Portrait Mode on the iPhone XR.
Photo: Chroma Noir LLC

Apart from the screen, the big different between the iPhone XS and XR is the camera. The XS has two, and the XR only has one. This means that — like a one-eyed person — the XR camera can’t calculate the depth of objects in a scene, and therefore can’t use the Depth Blur feature to blur the background. It works around this by using clever facial recognition tricks to allow Portrait Mode with people, but that’s it.

Until now, that it. In its latest update, camera app Halide adds back this functionality to the new iPhone. That’s right. With Halide, you can take depth-effect pictures of anything with the iPhone XR.

Use iOS 12’s smart albums to clean up your photo library

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Here's a photo that could totally be in some smart albums
Here's a photo that could totally be in some smart album.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Grab your iPhone, if you’re not holding it already. Then open the Photos app, go to the Albums tab, and scroll down. On iOS 12, you’ll see a list showing pretty much every kind of photo you have: Live Photos, Panoramas, screenshots, and a lot more. This is powerful stuff, so let’s check it out

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.

How to remove annoying objects from your photos

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How will TouchRetouch manage with this delicious breakfast?
How will TouchRetouch manage with this delicious breakfast?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

We’ve all taken the perfect photo, only to have to have it ruined by some unwanted element. A pole sticking out of someone’s head. A passing car in the background of an otherwise-perfect street scene. Or a political enemy in one of Stalin’s portraits.

But whereas the Soviet regime employed a team of photo retouchers to chop the gulag-bound dissidents from Stalin’s selfies, iPhone apps can remove clutter in seconds. Today we’ll see how to use my favorite: TouchRetouch.