Snapchat and more can use iOS 15's portrait video and audio effects

Apple Iphone Facetime Portrait
Apple Iphone Facetime Portrait (Image credit: Apple)

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.

The iOS 15 update will arrive alongside new iPhones, but that doesn't mean the iPhone 12 lineup isn't still amazing. Check out our best iPhone deals roundup and bag yourself a bargain.

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.