Halide Developers Enable Portrait Mode on iPhone XR for Objects and Pets [Updated]

Monday October 29, 2018 5:05 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard

Developers behind iOS camera app Halide say that they are planning to ship a version of the app that enables Portrait Mode on iPhone XR for "all sorts of things," and not just people (via Reddit). Because the iPhone XR has a single-lens rear camera (and not a dual-lens like iPhone XS), the cheaper smartphone doesn't capture as much depth information and the Portrait Mode bokeh effect in Apple's own Camera app only works on people.


As Wired explained in its review, if you try to take a Portrait image of a pet or object, the camera app will state "No person detected" at the top of the screen. Now, Halide says that it has already gotten the iPhone XR camera to work with Portrait Mode on pets and inanimate objects, but results haven't been consistent and some subjects can be harder to create a depth effect around.

We think with some more tooling, we'll be able to ship a version of our app that enables portrait mode for all sorts of things. It seems it'll be a bit more 'temperamental'; in some settings it won't work if there's not enough variance in relative distance of objects, but a can of soda water on my desk worked just fine.

Still, as Halide's Reddit post explains, this means that third-party camera apps on the iOS App Store will be able to provide users with a form of Portrait Mode on iPhone XR that enables bokeh effects around more than just people. Halide mentions that the iPhone XR's depth map is "way lower resolution" than the dual cameras on the iPhone XS, "but it seems usable."

iPhone XR launched a few days ago on October 26 and was met with positive reviews from the media, which praised its LCD display, bright colors, and iPhone XS-level performance. Thanks to the smartphone's lower price tag in comparison to the iPhone XS and XS Max, most outlets agreed that the iPhone XR will be the smartphone that most people will want to choose when looking at the new 2018 lineup of iPhones.

Update 12:00 p.m. PT: Halide has submitted version 1.11 to the iOS App Store, which unlocks the ability to take photos with Portrait Mode effects on pets and objects using iPhone XR. Now that it's been submitted, Halide says the update will be out soon, once it passes App Store review. More information can be found in the company's blog post.

Related Roundup: iPhone XR

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
19 months ago
It would be good if Apple provides an option for using portrait mode with Xs' wide angle camera only. Reviewers have pointed out that while Apple upgraded the wide angle lens sensor, it cleverly chose to ignore mentioning the telephoto lens, so as a result, under low light conditions XR portraits come out better than XS'. It would have been better if both sensors were upgraded at the same time.. but that could be its marketing strategy saving it for the next year's upgrade.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

Since the single lens Pixel can do portrait for things other than people, its good to see iOS getting this option as well, thanks Halide. Maybe as a feature next year Apple will figure out how these guys do this for non "people" as well.

Sure they will figure this out. This is just a software feature. However, they will make you buy next years phone in order to enable it ;)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
Yay. I can haz portrait mode for kitteh.

Though so far even on my 8 Plus that feature seems to make the edges of my cat look weird.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago

I'm sure Apple can do portrait mode for most objects on the XR but decided to limit it, because, you know why.

Yes, we do. Because the algorithm is optimized for people. Using it for other targets can yeild unpredictable results that Apple does not want to be measured against.
If there were anything marketing aspect to it, Apple would advertise this is a distinguishing feature between the models.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
At least not yet..but technically it's possible since both XR and XS use the same wide angle camera sensor. Depends on whether Apple provides access to the wide angle and telephoto cameras independently - will have to check on that

Does this app allow that?

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
19 months ago
No pet portrait mode was the nail in the coffin for the XR for me.

XS is CRAZY expensive so I'm just sticking with my 7+ for now... still hopeful for a good holiday season trade in promotion.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

2020 iPad Pro Teardown Provides Closer Look at LiDAR Scanner and Confirms Incremental Update

Saturday March 28, 2020 9:56 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
iFixit today shared a video teardown of the new iPad Pro, which Apple unveiled earlier this month. iFixit found that most of the internals of the 2020 iPad Pro are the same as the 2018 model, confirming that the device is a relatively incremental update. The most notable new feature seen inside the new iPad Pro was the LiDAR scanner, which measures the distance to surrounding objects up...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

U.S. Government Using Mobile Ad Location Data to Track Compliance With Curbs on Movement

Monday March 30, 2020 4:48 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
The U.S. government is using smartphone location data from the mobile ad industry to track people's movements amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Local governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received the anonymized data about people in areas of "geographic interest," with the aim being to create a portal of geolocation...