Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
macOS Catalina Now Available
Apple Releases iOS 10.1 With New Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus [Updated]
Today's iOS 10.1 update is available as a free over-the-air update for all iOS 10 users. It is the third update to iOS 10, following iOS 10.0.3, a minor bug fix update.
iOS 10.1 introduces a new "Portrait" mode, designed to take advantage of the two cameras included in the iPhone 7 Plus, released in September. Portrait mode uses the wide-angle and telephoto lenses in the iPhone 7 Plus to create shallow depth of field portrait photos with blurred backgrounds.
To achieve the blurred look, the image signal processor in the device uses the wide-angle camera to create a depth map while the telephoto captures an image, dissecting the different layers of the photo to decide what to blur with an artful "bokeh" effect. It works on people, pets, and objects, but it does require good lighting to achieve the proper results.
The update also offers a long list of bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements to address many problems that have been uncovered since iOS 10 was released, and it also brings Transit directions to Japan for the first time.
There have been some tweaks to the Messages app. It's now possible to play Bubble and Screen effects in Messages with Reduce Motion enabled, something that wasn't previously possible. There's also a new option to replay Bubble and Screen effects. A full list of changes is available below:
Camera and PhotosiOS 10 has been described by Apple as the "biggest release ever" for iOS users, with features that include a redesigned Lock screen, a Siri SDK to allow third-party apps to integrate with Siri, and a completely overhauled Messages app with stickers, a full App Store, Digital Touch, Bubble Effects, and more.
- Introduces Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus that creates a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background (beta)
- People names in the Photos app are saved in iCloud backups
- Improved the display of wide color gamut photos in the grid views of the Photos app
- Fixes an issue where opening the Camera app would show a blurred or flashing screen for some users
- Fixes an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library
- Transit support for every major train, subway, ferry, and national bus line, as well as local bus systems for Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya
- Sign-based transit navigation including layouts of all underground structures and walkways that connect large transit stations
- Transit fare comparison when viewing alternative transit routes
- New option to replay bubble and full screen effects
- Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled
- Fixes an issue that could lead to contact names appearing incorrectly in Messages
- Addresses an issue where Messages could open to a white screen
- Addresses an issue that could prevent the report junk option from displaying with unknown senders
- Fixes an issue where videos captured and sent in the Messages app could be missing audio
- Adds distance and average pace to workout summaries in the Activity app for outdoor wheelchair run pace and outdoor wheelchair walk pace
- Fixes issues that may have prevented Music playlists from syncing to Apple Watch
- Addresses an issue that was preventing invitations and data to appear in Activity Sharing
- Fixes an issue that was allowing Activity Sharing to update over cellular when manually disabled
- Resolves an issue that was causing some third-party apps to crash when inputting text
Other improvements and fixes
- Improves Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories
- Improves AirPlay Mirroring performance when waking a device from sleep
- Fixes an issue where playback would not work for iTunes purchased content when the "Show iTunes Purchases" setting is turned off
- Fixes an issue where certain selfie apps and face filters used with the FaceTime HD camera on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did not display a live preview
- Fixes an issue in Health where individual strokes are converted to separate characters when using the Chinese handwriting keyboard
- Improves performance of sharing websites from Safari to Messages
- Fixes an issue in Safari that caused web previews in tab view to not display correctly
- Fixes an issue that caused certain Mail messages to be reformatted with very small text
- Fixes an issue that caused some HTML email to be formatted incorrectly
- Fixes an issue that in some cases caused the search field to disappear in Mail
- Fixes an issue that could prevent Today View Widgets from updating when launched
- Fixes an issue where Weather widget sometimes failed to load data
- Fixes an issue on iPhone 7 where Home Button click settings would not appear in search results
- Fixes an issue that prevented spam alert extensions from blocking calls
- Resolves an issue that could prevent alarm sounds from going off
- Fixes an issue where audio playback via Bluetooth would cause the Taptic engine to stop providing feedback for some users
- Resolves an issue preventing some users from restoring from iCloud Backup
Update: Today's update also fixes pairing issues some Android Wear users were having with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.