Halide Mark II is a much-improved version of an already teriffic camera app

Halide M2 On Iphone
Halide M2 On Iphone (Image credit: Lux Optics Incorporated)

What you need to know

  • Popular camera app Halide has received a huge update ahead of iPhone 12 launch day.
  • The new update takes an already excellent app and adds new features that pros and amateurs alike can enjoy.
  • The app also gained a new subscription model, too.

We've written about Halide before and with good reason. It's generally accepted to be one of the best manual camera apps on iPhone and it's an excellent way to take better photos. Now it's better than ever with a huge 2.0 update. Say hello to Halide Mark II.

The new app is available right now and was announced via a comprehensive blog post. I'd suggest heading there for the real lowdown on what this app update adds because, honestly, there's a ton of it. And a lot of it goes right over my head.

One thing that does need mentioning, however, is the new Coverage feature. Put simply, it does lets users get the best out of Apple's fancy Smart HDR and Deep Fusion technologies while still having a RAW file that can be manually edited at a later date. Should someone want to get their hands dirty, that is.

Mark II is the first camera to capture both classic RAWs and computational photos in one burst with a feature we call Coverage. Now you can take amazing photos that leverage all the advanced photography of the latest iPhones, while having a RAW in your back pocket in case you think you can do better.Coverage takes a photo with all of Apple's smartest processing: that is, Smart HDR 3, Deep Fusion, the works — and then also snaps a RAW DNG and saves it all in one file. So you can shoot first, and ask questions (like "Do I want to edit this as a RAW file?") later.

A new Instant RAW builds on Halide Mark II's ability to capture RAW images and allows users to have the app do the post-processing instead of having to move any sliders themselves.

Instant RAW develops your RAW file in one tap. Just like how Smart RAW helps Halide expose RAW correctly using Machine Learning, with Instant RAW Halide goes through a 17-step process of intelligently developing your file to get the best possible result. It's optimized differently for different iPhones; it enhances detail and color; and above all, it's neutral.

Halide Feature Lineup

Halide Feature Lineup (Image credit: Lux Optics Incorporated)

Finally, we have pricing. Halide Mark II is a free download now with in-app purchases covering a new one-time purchase as well as a Membership fee option. Either works, although there are perks to going the Membership route.

Buying outright will cost users $30, with a subscription costing $9.99 per year.

We recognize subscriptions are a new thing. If you're willing to take a chance with us today, we're going to reward you by locking in $9.99 at launch. In the near future, we will raise it to the normal $11.99. As we build out more features, we expect the price for new members to rise. Existing members keep whatever price they started at.

Existing users are covered, too. Hallide Mark II will give them the app for free as well as a year's access to the Membership updates.

Sounds pretty good to me. Go read the full announcement post and then download Halide Mark II from the App Store. Before you get that fancy new phone!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.