The iPhone XR will soon get a key missing camera feature

The iPhone XR camera does a great job of taking pictures, even though it's a camera phone with one lens. But the lack of lens-based depth sensing meant that it lost a key feature that was available to iPhone XS users: the ability to take proper pictures of pets in Portrait mode. 

The iPhone XR uses software to help the camera regonize depth for the bokeh effect in Portrait mode. Currently this software is limited to human faces but camera app maker Halide believes it has found a fix and it could well mean that you will be taking pictures of your pets with the depth effect in no time. 

According to the makers of Halide, it is working on a fix that will allow this feature, although it does admit that the software makes the depth sensing for non humans a little "temperamental". 

This is all good news for iPhone fans, but the amazing Nokia 9 PureView is a warning to apply that other phone makers are making big strides.

Out of its depth

"We think with some more tooling, we'll be able to ship a version of our app that enables portrait mode for all sorts of things," Halide explained on Reddit

"It seems it'll be a bit more 'temperamental'; in some settings it won't work if there's not enough variance in relative distance of objects, but a can of soda water on my desk worked just fine."

Halide hopes to have the functionality in its app soon and does admit its current app for the iPhone XR "is a bit busted". This is because it doesn't get pre-access to the phones (like pretty much everyone in the world, given Apple's secrecy). 

Halide has been busy with the new iPhones. When the iPhone XS was released it offered smart raw shooting through its camera app, something that was not originally available on the device. 

Via Engadget

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Marc Chacksfield

A technology journalist who has been in the industry for 17 years, Marc is the former editor-in-chief of TechRadar and has also steered the ship for technology brands including T3, Tom's Hardware and Tom's Guide, and is currently the director of Shortlist Media and co-owner of 

An expert in the field of camera phones and mobile tech, Marc has been a long-time specialist when it comes to phone reviews, hands-on coverage, reviews and rumors. As a frequent visitor to big trade shows like CES, he has also had boots on the ground for the latest camera announcements and breaking developments in fields such as 8K video.