Apple Releases iOS 10.1 With Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus

Depth of field fakers rejoice, Apple has just released the official build of iOS 10.1. This update notably includes the heretofore beta Portrait Mode for owners of the iPhone 7 Plus, allowing users to simulate depth of field effects on photos taken with the 7 Plus' new secondary camera. The update is available now via over-the-air download or by updating your phone via iTunes.

While the update also includes various other bug fixes, you don't really care about those. What you care about is Portrait Mode and how you can either utilize it in your mobile photography or cry and moan about those who do. Portrait Mode has been available via Apple's public beta program for several weeks, and I have been using it off and on with varying degrees of success. I have also found that it can work surprisingly well in non-face situations. Apple has stressed that they use "advanced machine learning" that is specifically focused on human recognition to apply the effect, but it can also add some nice pop to your people-free photos as well.

The technology isn't perfect, but when it works, it works pretty damn well. Nick Pecori wrote about the feature a couple of weeks ago and showed how the effect can add some really nice depth to your mobile portraits.

Have no fear, though, Portrait Mode is also great at adding some spice to those special moments, like when our editor, Alex, traveled to Toronto to watch his Indians clinch a trip to the World Series!

Images used with permission.

[Via The Verge]

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Alex Cooke's picture

That was the best night of my life. #WIndians

g coll's picture

I think the effect is great for a mobile device. Obviously not nearly as good as a DSLR but of course it shouldn't be.

Andrew Strother's picture

Exactly. It's another fun tool in the bag.

Michael Kormos's picture

Only for the 7 Plus? Geez. And here I thought I'd actually get some new features by spending a small fortune and upgrading from iPhone 6 to 7. New boss, same as the old boss.

Andrew Strother's picture

Well yeah, It's the only iPhone with the dual camera setup necessary to create the effect. iOS utilizes input from both the wide angle camera and the "telephoto" camera to analyze the image and create the effect. That's what allows it to simulate actual depth instead of just creating a uniform blur.

Michael Kormos's picture

Ok, Mr. Photographer, and your fancy photography talk. You're not helping me.

I kid. I figured bigger was better. I just can't bear the size of the Plus. Feels like I'm holding a book to my ear.

Andrew Strother's picture

Totally get that. It took me a while to get used to it, but I don't think I could go back to a smaller phone. Wouldn't want anything larger though.

Art Sklut's picture

So creamy

Anonymous's picture

I ordered a 7 plus earlier this month. I wonder if it'll ever ship...

Anonymous's picture

Apparently they are stuck on ships in the Pacific - one of the biggest shippers in the world filed bankruptcy and they don't want to dock the ships because the cargo will be seized to pay the debts... I'm sure Apple will sort it out, though.

jonathan mike's picture

This portrait mode of iOS 10.1 is really cool. I have recently updated my iPhone 6 to iOS 10.1 It is simply superb. I have installed Delta emulator ( on my device to play games for free.