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New features on the iPhone 15 camera are the focus of Apple’s latest ad

On any iPhone 15 model, users can convert a picture of a person, a dog, or a cat into a portrait after the picture has been processed. That’s pretty cool. And to make this feature even better, you can shift the focus on any of the subjects of the photo. Again, this is available only on the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. To convert such a photo into a portrait, follow these directions:

  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  • Tap any photo taken in Photo mode to view it in full screen, then tap Edit.
  • If portrait effects are available, tap the Depth Adjustment button, then tap Portrait at the top of the screen.
  • Use the Depth Control slider to increase or decrease the level of background blur in the portrait.
  • Tap Done.
  • To undo the portrait effects, open the photo, tap Edit, then tap Revert.

It should be noted that if you do this with a Live Photo, the Live Photo effects are not available.

To shift the focus on any of the photo’s subjects, follow these directions:

  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  • Tap any portrait to view it in full screen, then tap Edit.
  • Tap a new subject or focus point in the photo.
  • Tap Done.

In a new promotional video from Apple called “Album Cover,” Apple shows how these features work. A female member of a musical trio is using her iPhone to turn a picture of the three into a portrait for the next album cover. When she presses the Portrait button, she remains in focus while the other two members of the group are blurred in the background. Showing one of her bandmates the picture, she asks what he thinks of the image for the group’s next album cover.

While he says he likes it, he wants to make one little change and when the phone is returned to its owner, we see that the guitarist has put himself back in focus and put both his bandmates out of focus. A little bit of gaslighting is called for here, and the woman says to the guitar player, “Ok, I just feel like I see you more when I see you less.”

The two go back and forth quickly changing the focus of the photo between them. She feels that she should be the one in focus since the album is about her recent breakup. “With me,” says the guitar player. To break the tie, they decide to ask Brian, the third member of the band, to decide which version of the portrait is better. But Brian chooses a picture with him in focus and the other two blurred. “Feels iconic,” he says.

No, this is not Apple’s best ad, promotional video, or whatever it turns out to be. But it does show off the new features in a way that is easy to understand. If this is an ad, a heavily edited version might be seen during this weekend’s NCAA hoops and football games, NBA and NHL games, and Sunday’s NFL battles.

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