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A new iPhone app lets users take video in Portrait mode

Published Jul 6th, 2020 4:51PM EDT
Portrait Mode Video
Image: Zach Epstein for BGR

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  • The iPhone 12 will reportedly allow users to take video in Portrait mode.
  • In the interim, a new iPhone app called ‘Focus Live’ enables users to take video with the Bokeh effect.

One of the best camera features on the iPhone has long been Portrait mode. Originally introduced with the release of the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, Portrait mode effectively blurs the background in photos and, in turn, causes the main subject of the photo to really stand out. The effect is otherwise known as the Bokeh effect and has long been a feature on professional cameras.

Over the past few years, Apple has slowly but steadily improved its Portrait mode feature. With the release of the iPhone X, for example, Apple added the ability for users to take selfies in Portrait mode. Further, the software that powers Portrait mode has only become more refined with recent iOS releases. For instance, Apple has made it incredibly easy for iPhone users to quickly adjust the level of background blur.

Looking ahead to the iPhone 12, we’ve seen rumors that Apple’s next-gen iPhone will add the ability for users to take videos in Portrait mode. If this particular rumor pans out, it will certainly take the iPhone’s video capabilities to the next level.

In the interim, Apple leaker Ben Geskin recently directed our attention to an iOS app called Focos Live that allows you to take videos with the Bokeh effect on your iPhone. Of course, the implementation isn’t as smooth as what you’d expect out of an official solution from Apple. Further, the interface itself is a bit clunky and not exactly user friendly. Still, if you’re looking for a cool photography app to play around with and are interested to see what taking video in Portrait mode might be like, you’ll want to give the app a spin.

A few video examples of the app in action can be viewed below. As you’ll see, it’s not exactly professional video quality, but it will get the job done if you need some basic Bokeh effects. Geskin notes that the app works better on faces while adding that there is no built-in video stabilization.

With the next-gen iPhone said to include a number of camera enhancements, there is a good chance Portrait mode for video will be part of the iPhone 12 feature set. In regards to a release date, Apple will likely unveil its iPhone 12 lineup — which will consist of four new devices — this coming September. The iPhone 12 release itself, however, may be pushed back until October as opposed to September. Recall, the coronavirus reportedly delayed the iPhone 12 design and testing process by a few weeks as Apple engineers were unable to travel to China for late-stage product testing.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.