5 Android camera features that I would like to have on my iPhone

One in all my favorite things to do with my iPhone 14 Pro is to take photos. Whether it’s a part of my try to be artsy by snapping spontaneous moments with my husband and daughter, or simply capturing the magic at Disneyland, I actually have a ton of photos. Though I don’t have time to edit each one, I do wish to spend time making edits on my favorites just to enhance how they give the impression of being before I post them on social media. However the built-in tools on the iPhone for taking photos and editing them are, well, lacking.

I’ve been testing a couple of different Android devices since I joined Digital Trends, and let me let you know — it’s been a visit. I’ve discovered so many latest photo and camera tools on various Android devices that just show how much Apple is behind in that regard, despite being one of the vital popular devices for mobile photography.

Listed here are a couple of of my favorite camera features on Android that I’d wish to see Apple implement on the iPhone.

Magic Eraser and Camouflage

Christine and husband pose in front of Disneyland castle with Club 33 shopping bags with background people removed with Magic Eraser.

  • 1.
    Posing with Club 33 shopping bags in front of Disneyland castle.
  • 2.
    Magic Eraser was used to do away with a couple of people within the background.

Thus far, considered one of my favorite Android devices to make use of has been the Pixel 7. It’s mainly an iPhone made by Google, and truthfully, it’s been the best Android device for me to transition to. One in all my biggest draws to the Pixel, after all, is the much-hyped Magic Eraser tool.

With Magic Eraser, you may remove any unwanted objects (and even people) from the background of a photograph, and Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) will fill in that spot based on context as best as it could. Briefly, it’s a commonly used Photoshop tool that’s integrated natively into Pixel phones, making it more accessible to everyone, quite than simply Photoshop experts.

As a pass holder at Disneyland, I’m continuously on the parks, and sometimes I’m there only for photos. But after all, that is Disneyland — a spot that pulls hundreds of individuals each day. It’s near unattainable to get a photograph without some people within the background, as much as you are trying. I’ve been using Magic Eraser on plenty of my Disneyland PhotoPass pictures to do away with background people, and while it’s not at all times perfect, it really works nicely if there are only a couple of people within the background in comparison with dozens.

One more reason I like having Magic Eraser around is more area of interest. As a tech journalist, I find yourself taking quite a couple of photos of products I’m writing about. You recognize the way it goes — you spend time establishing the product with a pleasant backdrop, but then after you capture all of it, you notice a smudge of dust or dirt, and even fingerprints. Magic Eraser also helps out with those situations, making products and surfaces look as pristine as they might be. It could even be used to do away with things like power lines within the sky, or trash on the bottom.

Christine and husband pose in front of the Walt Disney and Mickey Partner Statue at Disneyland.

Christine and husband pose at Disneyland's Walt and Mickey partner statue.

  • 1.
    Christine and her husband pose in front of the Walt and Mickey partner statue.
  • 2.
    Camouflage was used to change the colour of the clothing on the three people behind the statue. The brilliant white, red, and blue colours were desaturated to mix in to the background higher.

But sometimes, Magic Eraser isn’t the best tool for the job. I noticed if you happen to attempt to do away with dozens of photobombers in a Disneyland photo, the AI may leave behind digital artifacts or other elements, making the image look worse than before. When that’s the case, something just like the Camouflage feature is more suitable. Camouflage desaturates a particular a part of a picture in order that it doesn’t pull attention away from the major subject within the photo.

Google’s Magic Eraser is solely considered one of my favorite things about Pixel devices, and I actually wish Apple would integrate it into iOS. In the mean time, Apple has sort of the reverse of Magic Eraser in iOS 16, where you may remove the background of a picture and just have the topic. It’s neat, nevertheless it’s just not as useful unless you wish to superimpose a subject onto one other image.

Change portrait mode background bokeh effect

Showing how to change background blur effect on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 portrait photoChristine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Portrait mode launched on the iPhone 7 Plus as an exclusive feature, nevertheless it has made its technique to just about every iPhone since. The Google Pixel 2 was considered one of the primary Android devices to even have portrait mode, coming out a 12 months after it hit the iPhone 7 Plus. No matter which device you employ portrait mode on, there’s little question that it’s one of the vital popular shooting options.

Portrait mode is fun, because it uses depth of field to blur the background behind a subject — making a portrait image that appears prefer it was taken with an expert DSLR. While Apple did add more Portrait mode-specific tools, like Portrait Lighting and depth adjustment, you may’t do much beyond that.

As I used to be fooling around with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, I noticed some extra things you may do with Portrait mode images. Along with the usual lighting effects, you may change the background blur to be a coloured backdrop, grayscale, big circle bokeh, and even go together with a spinning or zoom effect.

These aren’t groundbreaking, but they gives users more options on how the background blur and bokeh look in portraits. I personally like to take photos in portrait mode each time I can, so I really like having more effects that help spruce things up and keep them fresh and interesting. Plus, I’d imagine the zoom blur effect may lead to some creative photos.

Unedited version of a selfie of Christine and her daughter

Editing a selfie of Christine and her daughter in the OnePlus Nord N300 5G photo editing app with Retouch tools

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    The unedited version of a selfie of Christine and her daughter.
  • 2.
    Using the Retouch tools on the OnePlus Nord N300 5G. on this case, the Auto setting, the cheeks are slimmed down a bit and the skin appears smoother.

Though I really like to take selfies and photos at places like Disneyland, I often notice imperfections and blemishes on myself after the very fact in my photos. I’ve at all times been slightly self-conscious about my appearance, and though I attempt to be confident, it’s not at all times possible. Sometimes I feel like I could use slightly touching up in my photos before I post them on social media.

As I’ve been using the OnePlus Nord N300 5G, I noticed it has some retouching tools in its photo-editing app. There are tools for adjusting skin tone and texture, in addition to traditional spot healing for minor blemishes. These are the sort of retouching tools I might use to simply make some very subtle touchups to my very own pictures (for instance, I’m not a fan of the pores on my face), as I don’t wish to be too superficial.

Nonetheless, the Nord N300 (like another Android phones) has other tools for changing cheeks, eye size, and even teeth. I even tried the “auto” setting, which uses AI to find out what looks “best” for the image. Personally, I feel using too a lot of these features might be deceiving, especially if posting on Instagram and whatnot, but for minor touchups — like eliminating a pimple or bump, or perhaps a stray hair — they might be nice to have.

It’s just convenient to have these retouch tools built into the native photo editor on a phone. In the mean time, if you happen to want such functionality on the iPhone, you’ll have to seek out a third-party app that does the job, and today, retouching tools come at a price, unfortunately.

Selective color

Using color pop feature when editing a photo on Google Pixel 7Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Though some people might imagine selective color images could also be a bit gimmicky and don’t look good, I feel it’s a fun technique to make a photograph stand out. And if you happen to do it well, then it could actually look really good.

I discovered this feature when fooling around with my Google Pixel 7, and it’s something that I feel could possibly be useful on an iPhone. On the Pixel, this can be a tool called “Color focus” or “Color pop,” depending on whether you do it manually or select it as an automatic suggestion. Either way, using the tool will leave the topic within the photo in color, while converting the background into grayscale.

After I first got an iPhone, these sorts of photo-editing apps from developers were pretty popular, and I liked to experiment with them. Sure, they could be gimmicky, but photography is a type of art and expressing oneself. If someone desires to make that their thing, then I don’t see why selective color shouldn’t just be easily accessible — and it’s something that could possibly be fun to have on iOS.

Shadow and Reflection eraser

Showing Samsung's Shadow and Reflection eraser add-ons for Object EraserChristine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

As I proceed to mess around with my Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, I noticed that Samsung has its own version of Magic Eraser, simply called “Object Eraser.” There are two add-ons for the Object Eraser, which you could find in Photo Editor Labs: Shadow Eraser and Reflection Eraser. These features are still in beta, nonetheless, so results are either hit-or-miss — and plainly it might not even be working properly in the newest One UI 5.0 beta.

Still, I discovered these additions to be interesting features that I wish were available on my iPhone. I normally attempt to compose my photos properly to avoid harsh shadows, but sometimes it’s unattainable. I also love taking photos from behind a glass window, especially after I travel and need to capture my view from a hotel room, so a mirrored image eraser can be handy. Again, these are still in beta from what I can tell, nevertheless it can be great if Apple could implement such a tool into iOS.

iPhone camera gets upgrades every 12 months, but iOS stays stale

The rear cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The iPhone 14 Pro received an enormous improvement in camera specs this 12 months, going from 12MP to 48MP through a pixel-binning system (4 smaller subpixels to make one larger pixel), and allowing users to shoot in full 48MP resolution for ProRAW images. But while Apple makes all these improvements to the camera hardware, iOS software continues to hinder all the probabilities of what you may do within the Photos app.

Sure, you may go download a third-party photo-editing app that may probably do a few of the things I discussed here, but wouldn’t it just be easier to have these integrated natively in Photos? And these are just a few of my personal favorite photo-editing tools that I’ve noticed — I’m sure there are more, like stickers and text.

As much as Apple loves touting how great its devices are for photography, I’m really surprised that it’s lacking in comparison with the competition when it comes to photo-editing tools. I hope to see Apple take a page from the books of its competitors and add a few of these tools in future versions of iOS — especially Google Pixel’s Magic Eraser.

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