New iPhone 13 Leak Promises Super-Cool Feature Upgrade – Forbes

New iPhone 13 Leak Promises Super-Cool Feature Upgrade – Forbes

Every Wednesday, AppleUnboxed lands in subscribers’ mailboxes. It’s an all-things-Apple guide to what’s going on with the world’s most fascinating company. Each weekend, I’ll be publishing just one item from a previous newsletter. 

AppleUnboxed has much more stuff, including exclusive interviews, reviews before you can read them anywhere else (no, I mean anywhere), long-read features, comparison pieces, news items and more. To see all that, you’ll need to subscribe—and you’ll get it sooner, too. Sign up here.

Here’s an updated and expanded version of just one of the things subscribers saw in last week’s issue…

MORE FROM FORBESAirPods 3: Apple Unexpectedly Reveals AirPods Are Capable Of Breathtaking New Feature

AppleUnboxed: Significant Camera Upgrades Coming To iPhone 13

Recent rumors have suggested that this year’s iPhone, probably called iPhone 13 or just possibly iPhone 12s, will see big camera upgrades on at least some models, and here’s when the new iPhones will likely be unveiled.

The latest report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg claims that the cameras on at least some models of the next iPhone will be significantly upgraded. That’s in line with previous predictions, but there are more details now. 

Portrait Mode for video

Top of the list is Portrait Mode for video, to complement the feature which is currently limited to stills photography. Portrait Mode, as you’ll know, is where the background is artfully blurred while your subject is in pin-sharp focus, making for a more artistic result that locks the viewer’s attention exactly where you want it.

Apple’s video capabilities are exceptional but Portrait Mode video has not been possible on the iPhone before in the default Camera app. Some other brands, such as OnePlus, have already realized this for their handsets. Similarly, there are third-party apps which manage portrait mode video already, such as Focos Live, for instance. But adding this functionality to Apple’s Camera app would make a big difference as it’s the app almost everyone uses.

Even now, many critics say that the video recording on the iPhone, especially in Pro models, outstrips rivals. I’d agree with that. This new feature may widen the gap further.

Portrait Mode in video could be on its way in the coming weeks. While it may be restricted just to the Pro models of iPhone 13, it’s also possible that the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 could see it, too.

MORE FROM FORBESApple iOS 14.8: Unprecedented iPhone Software Update Coming Soon, Report Claims


Then there’s ProRes, a high-quality video-compression format which will appeal to professional photographers who want more advanced smartphone video. Here’s how Apple describes this format: “Apple ProRes is one of the most popular video formats in professional video production and post-production. ProRes is a codec technology developed by Apple for high-quality, high-performance editing in Final Cut Pro.”

Just as Apple ProRAW enhanced the iPhone 12 Pro’s stills capabilities, so ProRes would add another level of professional capability to forthcoming iPhones. It’s likely that ProRes will be an exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

A filter-like system

The third predicted feature is a system that works like filters, which “improves the look and colors of photos”, apparently. 

Color fidelity has always been a strong feature of iPhone photography, so this could be very interesting. It may allow for users to choose a warmer or cooler color temperature for the photo, without influencing the white shades. But the system will be different from regular filters which apply to the whole picture, instead being applied to objects or people using machine learning. 

Gurman also corroborates other rumors and leaks, such as a smaller notch on the front of the iPhone, a faster chip (I mean, did anyone think Apple would put a slower one in its latest phones?) and improved display quality.

We will know everything in just a few weeks’ time.

One More Thing

Readers of Dwight Silverman’s excellent Release Notes newsletter will know he includes a photo of his cats, ostensibly to show off smartphone photography capabilities but really to show off his cats. I’m eager to do the same and as I don’t have ready access to his pets, I’ll choose photos of my dog.

In Spring 2020, London was in Lockdown and you were only allowed to leave your home for an hour of exercise a day. You weren’t even permitted to sit in the park. So, walking the dog was a daily break for freedom. The iPhone SE (2020) had just been released and this was one of the shots I took to test its Portrait Mode capabilities.

As the phone only has one rear camera, the effect is done entirely via software. Apple said at the time of release that Portrait Mode on the new SE, like on the iPhone XR, was for human subjects only, but it’s done a pretty good job here of this dog, clearly enjoying her spring sojourn. Her swishy, fluffy tail is gently out of focus, so perhaps Apple was saying it knew that the phone’s capability at differentiating background from subject wasn’t as keen as on its top-flight models.

I like this photo because of the color, too. Every detail, from her floppy ears to panting tongue are colored with perfect fidelity.

In case you need tempting one more time, you can sign up to the newsletter here. I hope you will, and I’ll do my best to make you feel it’s worth it.

MORE FROM FORBESApple iPhone 13: When It Will Be Revealed, With A Record-Breaking Cancellation

Related Posts