Apple’s cheaper new iPhone can finally take portrait mode photos of pets — the iPhone XR can’t

iPhone 11

  • People clapped when Apple announced that the iPhone 11 can take portrait mode photos of pets, but some people noticed that some iPhones could already take pet portraits.
  • Indeed, iPhones with dual-lens camera systems could already take pet portrait photos, but the iPhone XR with its single camera lens couldn’t, it could only take portrait shots of people. 
  • Unlike the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 (essentially the new version of the iPhone XR) has a dual-lens-camera system that lets it take pet portrait photos.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple told everyone during its iPhone event on Tuesday that the $700 iPhone 11 — 2019’s equivalent of the 2018 iPhone XR — can take portrait mode photos of pets with that blurry background effect.

The announcement drew applause from the audience during Apple’s event. Apple mentioned the news on its website and included a portrait mode photo of a dog taken with the iPhone 11 in its press release.

iphone 11 dog portrait mode photo“Yay, pets!” Apple’s Kaiann Drance said after announcing that the iPhone 11 could take portrait mode photos of pets. 

But wait, you might be thinking, some Phones could already take portrait mode of pets. Indeed, some people on Twitter noted as much by sharing their own images of pet portrait shots taken with their iPhones.


So here’s what’s going on. The iPhone 11 is the new version of the iPhone XR, which specifically couldn’t take portrait mode photos of pets, and even objects. It was discovered shortly after it was released in 2018 that the iPhone XR — limited by its single camera lens — could only take portrait mode photos of people.

Like the iPhone X and iPhone XS, which could take portrait mode photos of pets and other objects, the iPhone 11 has a dual-lens-camera system that affords it stereoscopic depth, making it capable of recognizing different pet and object shapes.

Read more: Here’s everything Apple announced at its big iPhone 11 event.

The iPhone 11’s second camera lens is an ultrawide camera that works with the regular camera, as well as Apple’s “semantic rendering,” to allow the iPhone 11 to “more reliably detect subjects,” Drance said. 

So there you have it. Pet portrait mode photos are new for Apple’s cheaper iPhone offering.

SEE ALSO: I spent a few minutes with Apple’s 3 brand-new iPhones — here are the biggest things I noticed

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