What you need to know
- Apple's new portrait video and audio effects aren't just for FaceTime.
- Third-party apps like Snapchat can get involved, too.
Apple's WWDC opening keynote yesterday saw Apple take the wraps off iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey and more. One of the features that all three will get is support for portrait video and audio effects when using FaceTime, but it turns out it isn't just FaceTime that's getting in on the act. Third-party apps like Snapchat can, too.
The new effects will add background blur to calls while also isolating your voice to make it easier for people to hear you. Another option will be 'wide spectrum' which will do the opposite – ensure your surroundings can be heard, too.
While Apple hasn't said as much, testing carried out by 9to5Mac shows that the same video and audio effects can be triggered by apps like Snapchat.
For instance, when using Snapchat on an iPhone using iOS 15, swipe down from the top of the screen to reveal Control Center. It will have two contextual panels at the top, one for Video Effects and one for Mic Mode.
In Video Effects, Portrait mode can be turned on. This isolates your face and body and applies a background blur effect to everything else in the frame, similar to taking a Portrait photo in the main Camera app.
The Mic Mode options include Standard, Voice Isolation, and Wide Spectrum. Voice Isolation attempts to remove environmental noise distractions and concentrate on the user's speech. In contrast, Wide Spectrum incorporates more of the ambience for a more relaxed and natural sound.
You can't test this for yourself just yet, though. iOS 15 is only available in developer beta form right now although a public beta will kick in next month. Everyone else will be able to install the update this fall, Apple says.
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