- Hollis Johnson
Your iPhone’s camera just got some exciting new upgrades.
The latest version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 12, arrived on Monday, which means devices as old as the iPhone 5S can get a free upgrade. The new OS includes notable additions like a standalone Measure app that’s like a virtual tape measure, tools to combat smartphone addiction, grouped notifications, and more.
But some of the most exciting changes are to the Photos and Camera apps. Apple made some upgrades that will not only make using the Photos app easier and more intuitive, it will improve your phone’s camera.
Here’s a look at all the new photo features in iOS 12:
Let’s start with the camera itself. One of the improvements in iOS 12 will be to portrait lighting, a camera feature for iPhone 8 Plus and above.
- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Apple debuted portrait lighting last year on the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus. The feature allows users to add effects to portrait mode images that mimic various lighting scenarios inside a portrait studio.
Critics weren’t exactly impressed by portrait lighting, and it’s hard to imagine it’s a feature that’s used often.
Still, any update is welcome, and Apple says the camera can now generate a mask when it detects a person in the frame, better separating the person from the rest of the image.
Apple improved Animoji for iPhone X users, and added a few new characters.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
With iOS 12, Animoji can now wink and stick out their tongues.
Apple also added four new Animoji characters: a ghost, a koala, a tiger, and a T-Rex.
Apple introduced Memoji, customizable avatars that look like you.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Apple added Memoji in iOS 12, which are customizable avatars that work similarly to Animoji. Memoji work by themselves in iMessage, or can be used during group FaceTime.
Memoji are only available for iPhone X and above.
The QR code reader has been improved.
Starting with iOS 11, your phone’s camera can detect QR codes automatically, sending you a notification when it identifies the correct website.
Apple says it has improved the scanner in iOS 12. It will now highlight the codes inside the frame, which makes them easier to scan.
Apple added a few updates for professional photographers as well.
- Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
If your phone has an A9 chip or later, you can edit RAW images on your iPhone or iPad.
Apple also says it’s “easier than ever” to import photos and videos from a professional camera to your iPhone or iPad.
Apple made several improvements to the Photos app in iOS 12. The app will now be more personalized, starting with a For You tab.
The For You tab will now house your Memories (which are curated by Apple based on the images in your library), any shared album activity, and what Apple thinks are some of the best photos from your library.
The For You tab will also show you featured photos, as well as “Effect Suggestions,” which propose edits to your photos.
These personalization changes make the Photos app a lot more similar to Google Photos.
The Photos app will start suggesting sharing photos and videos with the people in them.
If you take photos while you’re out with a group of friends, Apple will detect the faces and start suggesting that you share them with those friends.
And if a friend sends you photos, your phone can also now look for photos from the same event and ask if you’d like to share them back.
Apple improved the search function inside the Photos app.
You’ll now be able to search for events or places inside the photos app, or type in multiple search terms at once. Apple will also supply smart suggestions, which will pop up when you’re typing in your search query.
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