In the latest Android APK development file, a .png file seems to indicate that Instagram is working on a portrait mode, like the ones currently being flaunted by flagship phones like the iPhone X and the Pixel 2.
Smartphones are incredible things. They cram an unbelievable amount of functionality into a pocket-sized slab of technology, and they’ve truly revolutionized the modern world. The problem for the smartphone makers is how do you continue to innovate when you’re making a product that has literally changed the world. The makers of flagship phones like the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 solve this by cramming in more and more tech into that tiny little slab.
One such innovation in the current generation of flagship smartphones is the portrait mode that enables users to take DSLR like portrait photos by blurring the background but leaving the subject of the photo crystal clear. This isn’t easy to do, but the results can be impressive.
The iPhone X and similar flagships use a second telephoto lens to help create the effect, but the Pixel 2 uses a different method achieve this impressive effect. The Pixel 2 uses AI to create the “bokeh effect” that makes the portraits stand out using only one camera. The Pixel 2 uses a software solution rather than a hardware one.
This software approach has a number of advantages over the hardware approach. For starters, it means that the portrait mode will work well on the single front-facing camera as well as it does with the double camera setup on the back. The other major benefit is cost. Once you have the software, you can add an effective portrait mode to all single camera phones, if you wish. This is what Instagram is working on, a reliable portrait mode for its app that, potentially, could be used on all smartphones no matter how many cameras they have.
Google has the software but does not want to damage the exclusivity that is driving demand for its latest flagship device as the Pixel 2’s portrait mode is impressive, and adds a genuine selling point. It remains to be seen whether Instagram’s version will be as good, or if it will effect Pixel 2 demand, but the fact that Instagram is bringing a flagship feature to all smartphones must surely be a good thing.
What do you think? Would you be happy if Instagram added a portrait mode?
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