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iPhone 11 Portrait Mode will work with pets and objects, not just people

iPhone 11 in (Product)RED
iPhone 11 in (Product)RED (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • iPhone 11 will take portrait shots of pets and objects.
  • iPhone XR only supported humans.
  • iPhone 11 goes on sale September 20th.

The newly announced iPhone 11 will support Portrait Mode for both pets and objects for the first time. Its predecessor, iPhone XR, was only able to capture portraits of humans. Apple briefly mentioned the improvement on-stage during the announcement, but a lot of people will have missed it.

Since the event Apple has also updated its iPhone 11 product page (opens in new tab) to include mention of the new portrait capabilities as spotted by MacRumors.

Take portraits to new places. With new kinds of portraits and more lighting controls, the dual cameras in iPhone 11 work together to create stunning images. And Portrait mode now works with everything you love to shoot — that includes your best friends, two‑legged or four.

Portrait Mode creates a faux bokeh effect, providing a sense of depth that isn't normally available. It blurs the background of the image while the photo's subject – which can now be a person, pet, or object, remains in focus.

The addition of a second camera to the iPhone 11 has allowed Apple to use more advanced depth mapping, just as it did on the iPhone X and iPhone XS/XS Max. It also means that Apple has flipped the switch on additional Portrait Lighting effects, with Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and High‑Key Mono all now available for use.

Apple's inclusion of a second camera makes the iPhone 11 more viable as the defacto iPhone for most people and this feature change further drives that point home. Most people will be more than happy with what iPhone 11 offers. But for those who want more, iPhone 11 Pro is available.

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max all go on sale on September 20th. Pre-orders for all three new phones will begin on September 13h at 5 AM PT.

Oliver Haslam
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.