A quick look at real-time Depth Control in iOS 12.1

In recent weeks, developers and public beta subscribers alike have been testing iOS 12.1. For iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max owners, this has meant taking a closer look at the new real-time Depth Control feature in the Camera app. Here’s how it works.

Depth Control

As we previously noted, the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and upcoming iPhone XR are each equipped with an A12 Bionic chip alongside an embedded Neural engine coprocessor. This combination, when paired with an algorithmic model, can simulate the characteristics of an actual iPhone camera lens.

This leads to Depth Control, which lets you adjust the intensity of the background blur in Portrait mode. Called bokeh, this effect is changeable after a photo has been shot using a real-time preview in the viewfinder.

How to use real-time Depth Control on iPhone

In iOS 12.1, Apple’s taking this to a new level. With the update, you can now change the Depth Control in real time and before an image is snapped. In the iOS 12.1 beta, here’s how it is done:

1) When using Portrait mode in the Camera app, you’ll notice a little “f” icon at the upper-righthand corner of the screen. When tapped, a hidden Depth slider appears.

2) Move the Depth slider left and right to find the setting you like the best.

3) Snap the photo.

4) Once you are done, you can still edit the Portrait like you did before during post-processing.

In the screenshots below, you can see how the Depth slider has been changed.

The new real-time Depth Control feature in iOS 12.1 should make taking images with iPhone even better and exciting. Keep in mind that it remains in beta and could change before iOS 12.1 is released to the public, probably before the end of the year.