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Google Giving Older iPhones A Feature That Apple Didn’t

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The new iPhones – the iPhone XS and iPhone XR – and the new iPad Pro come with the ability to edit background blur in a Portrait Mode photo even after clicking the image. However, the earlier iPhones and iPads don’t have the same capability. But, thanks to Google, now all the iOS devices (with a Portrait Mode camera) will be capable of doing Portrait mode depth editing.

Portrait mode depth editing for older iPhones

On earlier iPhones or iPads, one can enable or disable Portrait Mode, but Portrait mode depth editing is not possible. Though there are several third-party apps that allow iOS devices to perform the trick, none, however, are as efficient as Google Photos.

Google announced the Portrait mode depth editing for the iOS via a tweet on Monday. “Just pull up a portrait photo in Google Photos, click the editing icon to get to the editing menu, then tap it one more time to edit depth and focus,” the tweet says.

To adjust the background of a Portrait Mode photo in Google Photos, you will first have to open the image and then press the edit button to get the editing menu. At the bottom, you will find the list of color filters; press the Edit button again to get the sliders for Light, Color, and Depth. On the right side, you will get a drop-down arrow, which gives you sliders to adjust the blur and foreground blur. Next, you will have to tap the part on the photo that you wish to change the background.

Google, it seems, is doing its own processing internally to adjust the background. Many users who compared the results of the Google Photos app depth adjusting feature with that of Apple’s Photos app, noticed a difference. And, in some cases, the Google Photos app performed better.

It must be noted that the feature works only on the photos taken using the Portrait mode on the default Camera app. Also, it only supports iOS devices with Portrait photo mode.

“Color Pop” filter for iOS app

Along with the portrait mode depth editing, Portrait Mode photos on iOS now also get a “Color Pop” filter. The filter keeps the subject in color, but fades the rest into black and white. You will have to tap on the subject to keep it in color. The Color Pop should appear as the first filter option when you press the edit button.

One can also use the Color Pop slider to edit the color effect on an image. The feature uses artificial intelligence (AI) to disable the colors and add a black and white filter. Previously, the feature was only available via Google Photos’ Assistant section, where it automatically did the adjustment. Now, one can manually apply the feature to a selected image.

To get these features on your iOS device, you must update the Google Photos app for iOS. If you don’t have the app, you can download it for free from the App Store. Google Photos on Android (Pixel 2, Pixel 3 and some Moto phones) already got the depth adjusting feature last month.

Adding Pixel-specific features to iOS

Google has been bringing selected Pixel phone features to the iOS app. Earlier this year, the search giant added support for Google Lens, which is an image-recognition service that shows information about an object, links to buy it and more.

And, in October, Google added a “Live Albums” feature. The feature allows users to create an album (of a chosen pet or person) in the Google Photos easily. All you need to do is click on the images, which will then automatically go into the album. The said feature is available to iOS, Android and web users globally.

Google’s Live Albums has a limit of 10,000 photos. Once the limit is reached, users will see a message “Live album paused,” meaning no new photos can be added now to that album. In a shared album, however, each person can add up to 10,000 photos or videos “until the album reaches 20,000 items,” Google says in its Help Center page.

To ensure that the limit of 10,000 photos stretches longer, Google could add some filters. Currently, the feature adds all photos of the person or pet in question irrespective of date, quality of the photo or others in the image. So, adding such filters would help users better manage the album.

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