5 Android Camera Features I Need on My iPhone

5 Android Camera Features I Need on My iPhone

One of my favorite things to do with iPhone 14 Pro He is taking pictures. Whether it’s part of trying to be artistic by capturing spontaneous moments with my husband and daughter, or just capturing the magic at Disneyland, I have plenty of pictures. Although I don’t have time to edit each one, I like to take the time to make edits to my favorites just to improve their appearance before I post them on social media. But the tools built into the iPhone for taking and editing photos are not available.

I’ve tested a few different Android devices since I joined Digital Trends, and let me tell you – it’s been a journey. I have discovered several new photo and camera tools on different Android devices which just show how far behind Apple is in this regard, despite it being one of the most popular devices for mobile photography.

Here are some of my favorite camera features on Android that I’d love to see Apple’s iPhone app.

Magic Eraser & Camouflage

So far, one of my favorite Android devices has been Pixel 7. It’s basically an iPhone made by Google, and honestly, it was the easiest Android device for me to move to. One of the biggest draws to me about the Pixel, of course, is that it’s been so much promoted Magic Eraser Tool.

With Magic Eraser, you can remove any unwanted objects (or even people) from the background of an image, and Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) will fill that place based on context as best it can. In short, it’s a popular Photoshop tool native to Pixel phones, making it accessible to everyone, rather than just Photoshop experts.

As a Disneyland pass holder, I’m often in the parks, sometimes just there to take pictures. But of course, this is Disneyland – a place that attracts thousands of people every day. It’s almost impossible to get a picture without some people in the background, as much as you try. I’ve been using Magic Eraser in a lot of my Disneyland PhotoPass to get rid of people in the background, and while it’s not always perfect, it works well if there are a few more people in the background than there are dozens.

Another reason I love having Magic Eraser is that it is more specialized. As a tech journalist, I end up taking some photos of the products I write about. You know how it goes—you spend time setting the product up with a nice background, but after you’ve picked everything up, you’ll notice a smudge of dust or dirt, or even fingerprints. Magic Eraser also helps in these situations, making products and surfaces look as original 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 no The right tool for the job. I’ve noticed that if you try to get rid of dozens of photo spoilers in a Disneyland photo, the AI ​​may leave behind digital bits or other elements, making the photo look worse than before. When that’s the case, something like the blur feature is more appropriate. A blur desaturates a specific part of an image so that it does not draw attention away from the main subject in the image.

Google’s Magic Eraser is simply one of my favorite things about Pixel devices, and I really wish Apple would integrate it into iOS. Right now, Apple has a sort of Magic Eraser reversal in iOS 16, where you can remove an image’s background and just get the subject matter. It’s neat, but it’s only useful if you want to superimpose a theme over another image.

Change bokeh effect in portrait mode

Show how to change background blur effect on portrait of Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Kristen Romero Chan / Digital Trends

Portrait mode was launched on the iPhone 7 Plus as an exclusive feature, but it has made its way into pretty much every iPhone since then. The Google Pixel 2 It was one of the first Android devices to also have a portrait mode, coming out a year after it came to the iPhone 7 Plus. No matter which device you use in portrait mode, 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 selfie that looks like it was taken with a professional DSLR. While Apple has added more tools for Portrait mode, like Portrait Lighting and depth adjustment, you can’t do much more than that.

When I was playing with Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4I noticed a few more things you can do with portrait mode photos. In addition to the standard lighting effects, you can change the background blur to be a color background, grayscale, big circle bokeh, or even by using a rotation or zoom effect.

This isn’t groundbreaking, but it does give users more options on how background blur and bokeh look in portraits. Personally, I like to take pictures in portrait mode whenever I can, so I like to have more effects that help beautify things and keep them fresh and interesting. Additionally, I imagine the blurry zoom effect could lead to some creative photos.

Although I love taking selfies and portraits at places like Disneyland, I often notice flaws and imperfections on myself after the fact in my photos. I’ve always been a little shy about my looks, and while I try to be confident, it’s not always possible. Sometimes I feel like I can use a little touch up in my photos before I post them on social media.

Since I was using a file OnePlus Nord N300 5GI noticed that it has some retouching tools in its photo editing app. There are tools to modify skin tone and texture, as well as traditional spot treatments for minor blemishes. These are the retouching tools that I will only use to do some subtle touch ups on my photos (ie I’m not a fan of the pores on my face), because I don’t like being too superficial.

However, Nord N300 (like some other Android phones) has other tools to change cheeks, eye size and even teeth. I even tried the “Auto” setting, which uses artificial intelligence to determine what looks “best” for an image. Personally, I think using a lot of these features can be tricky, especially if you’re posting to Instagram etc, but for simple touches – like getting rid of pimples or bumps, or even stray hairs – they can be nice to have.

It’s convenient to have these retouching tools built into the phone’s native photo editor. Right now, if you want such functionality on an iPhone, you’ll have to find a third-party app that does the job, and these days, retouching tools come at a price, unfortunately.

selective color

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

Although some people may think that selective color photos may be a little too catchy and not look good, I think it’s a fun way to make a photo stand out. And if you do it well, it can actually look like truly Good.

I discovered this feature when playing with a Google Pixel 7, and it’s something I think might come in handy on an iPhone. On the Pixel, this is a tool called “Color focus” or “Color pop”, depending on whether you do it manually or choose it as an automated suggestion. Either way, using the tool will leave the subject in the image colored, while turning the background to grayscale.

When I first got my iPhone, these types of photo editing apps from developers were very popular, and I loved trying them out. Sure, it may be eye-catching, but photography is a form of art and self-expression. If someone wanted to make this thing, I don’t understand why selective color shouldn’t be so easily accessible – something that can be fun on iOS.

Shadow & Reflection Eraser

Show Samsung Shadow and Reflection Eraser Add-ons for Object Eraser
Kristen Romero Chan/Digital Trends

As I continue to play with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, I notice that Samsung has its own version of Magic Eraser, simply called “Object Eraser”. There are two plugins for Object Eraser, which you can find in Photo Editor Labs: Shadow Eraser and Reflection Eraser. However, these features are still in beta, so the results are either successful or incorrect – and it looks like they may not work properly in the latest One UI 5.0 beta.

However, I found these additions to be interesting features that I wish were available on my iPhone. I usually try to compose my photos properly to avoid harsh shadows, but sometimes that’s impossible. I also like to take pictures from behind a glass window, especially when I’m traveling and want to capture my view from a hotel room, so using a reflection eraser will come in handy. Again, this is still in beta from what I can tell, but it would be great if Apple could implement such a tool in iOS.

iPhone camera gets upgrades every year, but iOS is still old

Rear cameras in iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The iPhone 14 Pro received a huge improvement in camera specs this year, going from 12MP to 48MP through a pixel binning system (four smaller sub-pixels to create one larger pixel), and allowing users to shoot 48MP for ProRAW photos. But while Apple makes all these improvements to its camera hardware, iOS software continues to hamper all 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’ve mentioned here, but wouldn’t it be easier to integrate them natively into photos? And these are just some of my favorite selfie editing tools I’ve noticed – I’m sure there are more, like stickers and text.

As much as Apple loves touting how great its photography devices are, I’m really surprised that it lacks competition in terms of photo editing tools. I hope to see Apple take a page from its competitors’ books and add some of these tools in future versions of iOS – particularly Google Pixel’s Magic Eraser.

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