5 Android Camera Features I Need to Have on My iPhone

5 Android Camera Features I Need to Have on My iPhone

One of my favorite things to do with my iPhone 14 Pro It is for taking photos. Whether as part of my attempt to be artistic by capturing spontaneous moments with my husband and daughter, or simply capturing the magic at Disneyland, I have plenty of photos. Even though I don’t have time to edit every one of them, I like to spend time editing my favorites just to make them look better before I post them on social media. But the tools built into the iPhone for taking photos and editing them are missing.

I’ve been trying out a few different Android devices since joining Digital Trends and let me tell you, it’s been a ride. I’ve discovered so many new photography and camera tools on various Android devices that it shows how far behind Apple is in that regard, despite being one of the most popular devices for mobile photography.

Here are some of my favorite Android camera features that I wish Apple would bring to the iPhone.

Magic Eraser and Camouflage

So far, one of my favorite Android devices to use has been the pixel 7. It’s basically an iPhone made by Google, and honestly, it’s been the easiest Android device I’ve ever transitioned to. One of my biggest draws to the Pixel, of course, is the much-hyped Magic Eraser Tool.

With Magic Eraser, you can remove any unwanted objects (or even people) from the background of a photo, and Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) will fill in that spot based on context to the best of its ability. In short, it’s a commonly used Photoshop tool that is natively integrated into Pixel phones, making it more accessible to everyone, rather than just Photoshop experts.

As a Disneyland pass holder, I am frequently in the parks and sometimes just there to take photos. But, of course, this is Disneyland, a place that attracts thousands of people every day. It’s almost impossible to get a photo without some people in the background, no matter how hard you try. I’ve been using Magic Eraser on many of my Disneyland PhotoPass photos to get rid of people in the background and while it’s not always perfect, it works well if there are only a few people in the background versus dozens.

Another reason I like having Magic Eraser is more niche. As a technology journalist, I end up taking quite a few photos of the products I write about. You know how it works: You spend time setting up the product with a nice background, but after you capture it all, you notice a smudge of dust or dirt, or even fingerprints. Magic Eraser helps in those situations too, making products and surfaces look as flawless as possible. It can also be used to get rid of things like power lines in the sky or trash on the ground.

But sometimes Magic Eraser It is not the right tool for the job. I noticed that if you try to get rid of dozens of photobombers in a Disneyland photo, the AI ​​can leave behind digital artifacts or other elements, making the image look worse than before. When that’s the case, something like the Camouflage feature is more suitable. Camouflage desaturates a selected part of an image so that it doesn’t draw attention away from the main subject of the photo.

Google’s Magic Eraser is simply one of my favorite things about Pixel devices, and I really wish Apple would integrate it into iOS. At the moment, Apple has a kind of reverse of Magic Eraser in iOS 16, where you can remove the background of an image and only have the subject. It’s fine, but not that useful unless you want to overlay a subject on another image.

Change the background bokeh effect of portrait mode

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

Portrait mode launched in the iPhone 7 Plus as an exclusive feature, but has since made its way to nearly every iPhone. the Google Pixel 2 it was one of the first Android devices to also have portrait mode, coming out a year after it arrived on the iPhone 7 Plus. Regardless of the device you use portrait mode on, there is no doubt that it is one of the most popular shooting options.

Portrait mode is fun as it uses depth of field to blur the background behind a subject, creating a portrait image that looks like it was taken on a professional DSLR. While Apple added more portrait mode-specific tools like portrait lighting and depth adjustment, you can’t do much more than that.

while playing with the Samsung Galaxy ZFlip 4, I noticed a few extra things you can do with Portrait mode images. In addition to the standard lighting effects, you can change the background blur to be a colored background, a grayscale, a large circle, or even a rotate or zoom effect.

These aren’t groundbreaking, but they do give users more options for how background blur and bokeh look in portraits. Personally, I love taking portrait mode photos whenever I can, so I love having more effects to help spruce things up and keep things fresh and interesting. Also, I imagine the zoom blur effect could make for some creative photos.

Although I love taking selfies and photos at places like Disneyland, I often notice blemishes and blemishes on my photos after photos. I’ve always been a little shy about my appearance, and although I try to be confident, it’s not always possible. Sometimes I feel like I could use a little touch up on my photos before I post them on social media.

Since I have been using the OnePlus Nord N300 5G, I noticed that you have some retouching tools in your photo editing app. There are tools to adjust skin tone and texture, as well as traditional blemish healing for minor blemishes. These are the kind of retouching tools I would use to do some very subtle retouching on my own images (for example, I don’t like the pores on the face), as I don’t like to be too superficial.

However, the Nord N300 (just like other Android phones) has other tools to change cheeks, eye size, and even teeth. I’ve even tried the “automatic” setting, which uses AI to determine what looks “best” for the image. Personally, I think using too many of these features can be misleading, especially if you’re posting on Instagram and whatnot, but for minor touch-ups like getting rid of a pimple or bump, or even a stray hair, they can be nice to have.

It’s convenient to have these touch-up tools built into a phone’s native photo editor. At the moment, if you want that functionality on the iPhone, you’ll have to find a third-party app that will do the job, and these days touch-up tools come at a price, sadly.

selective color

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

Although some people may think selective color images can be a bit tricky and don’t look good, I think it’s a fun way to make a photo stand out. And if you do it right, it can actually seem Really right.

I discovered this feature when playing around with my Google Pixel 7, and I think it could be beneficial on an iPhone. On the Pixel, this is a tool called Color Sharpen or Color Pop, depending on whether you do it manually or choose it as an auto-suggestion. Either way, using the tool will leave the subject of the photo in color, while converting the background to grayscale.

When I first got an iPhone, these kinds of photo editing apps from developers were very popular and I liked to experiment with them. Sure, they can be clever, but photography is a form of art and expression. If anyone wants to make that their own, then I don’t see why selective color shouldn’t be easily accessible, and it’s something that could be fun to have on iOS.

Shadow & Highlight Eraser

Showcasing Samsung's Shadow and Reflection eraser plugins for Object Eraser
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

While playing 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 plugins for Object Eraser, which you can find at Photo Editor Labs: Shadow Eraser and Reflection Eraser. However, these features are still in beta, so the results are hit or miss, and it doesn’t seem to even work properly in the latest One UI 5.0 beta.

Still, I found these additions to be cool features that I wish were available on my iPhone. I usually try to compose my photos correctly to avoid harsh shadows, but sometimes it’s impossible. I also love taking photos behind a glass window, especially when I travel and want to capture my view from a hotel room, so a reflection eraser would come in handy. Again, these are still in beta as far as I can tell, but it would be great if Apple could implement such a tool on iOS.

iPhone Camera Updates Every Year, But iOS Is Still Outdated

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

The iPhone 14 Pro received a big upgrade in camera specs this year, going from 12MP to 48MP through a pixel binning system (four smaller sub-pixels to make one larger pixel) and allowing users to shoot in Full 48MP resolution for ProRAW images. But while Apple makes all of these improvements to the camera hardware, the iOS software continues to hamper all the possibilities of what you can do in the Photos app.

Sure, you can download a third-party photo editing app that can probably do some of the things I mentioned here, but wouldn’t it be easier to integrate them natively into Photos? And these are just some of my favorite photo editing tools that I have noticed; I’m sure there are more, like stickers and text.

As much as Apple loves touting how good its devices are for photography, I’m really surprised that it falls short compared to the competition in terms of photo editing tools. I look forward to seeing Apple take a page from its competitors’ books and add some of these tools in future versions of iOS, most notably Google Pixel’s Magic Eraser.

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