Apple’s Camera app redesign would move flash and other controls to the status bar

A redesign of the iPhone’s Camera app could move some of the controls like flash and Live Photo to the iOS status bar, creating more room for viewfinder preview.

iPhone held in hand, with a scenic landscape capture with the Camera app
Image: Josh Power / Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Apple is redesigning its Camera app by taking advantage of the iOS status bar and the area directly below the display cutouts.
  • Why care? The Camera app could use some overhauling. This change will enlarge the camera preview area that shows you content outside the frame.
  • What to do? If you’ve always wanted more features and controls in the Camera app but were intimidated by third-party camera apps that often look like flight simulators, do yourself a favor and try the excellent Halide Mark II [App Store link].

Apple’s Camera app could use the status bar for controls

According to Chance Miller of 9to5Mac, Apple has decided to move things around in its stock Camera app to improve the iPhone photography experience. According to Miller, the redesign includes a relocation of the flash and Live Photo buttons which will sit in the iOS status bar. Read: How to shoot QuickTake video on iPhone

At the same time, photo and video controls like resolution, exposure control, aspect ratio, timer and others will be positioned directly below the display cutouts.

In its current implementation, the Camera app only uses the horizontal area right below the notch for some controls, such as RAW shooting and Live Photo.

Giving you a larger view of the camera preview

In the current Apple Camera app, additional camera controls can be revealed by touching the chevron at the top portion of the screen. Miller argues that the change will give your a larger view of the camera preview.

The article doesn’t make it clear if this is an iPhone 14-exclusive redesign or something that we peasants with older iPhones will get to enjoy as well.

It would seem to be an iOS 16 feature, but we could be wrong about that. Apple could also scrap this feature based on final testing.

To be perfectly clear, Miller says he’s learned from a source at Apple that the Camera app redesign in particular “is still not entirely locked in” so there’s that.

What’s the viewfinder preview in Apple’s Camera app?

The camera preview is a feature of the iPhone 11, 12 and 13 models which shows you content outside the frame. The preview gives you a better feel of the scene, making it easier to frame and crop the photo perfectly before pressing the shutter button.

It also visualizes an area outside the frame which could be captured if you moved farther away or switched to a lens with a wider field of view.

You can toggle this feature in Settings → Camera, then slide the toggle labeled “View Outside the Frame.” Read: How to take long exposure photos on iPhone