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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell

Assembling YouTube videos with Final Cut Pro

I’ve been editing video for a very long time. Since the days of wiring two VCRs together and pressing play on one and record on the other. I’m not a professional video editor and never will be, but I’ve been an amateur long enough to appreciate how far we’ve come from the days of two VCRs. (Sorry, people who grew up editing actual film—I never had the privilege.)

This year I made an effort to generate video editions of one of my podcasts, Total Party Kill. It led me down the path of using Final Cut Pro X more than I’ve ever done before. And while I know that Apple’s redesign of Final Cut made a lot of professional video editors very angry, as an amateur who needs a tool to bodge together Internet videos from a bunch of different sources, I’ve been floored at how easy it is to get the results that I want.

The timeline stacks audio and video clips on top of one another.

It starts with the timeline, into which you can dump just about anything you need—video, audio, graphics, you name it. The different levels of the timeline stack, so for visible objects (as opposed to audio files) you’re creating layers of objects that lay on top of one another.

For Total Party Kill, I need to take two different video files—video of our faces playing Dungeons and Dragons generated by Google Hangouts, and video of the map we’re playing on as captured via QuickTime Player from my web browser. In order to fit them together on a screen, I scale down the video of our faces and scale and crop the video from QuickTime Player.

The idea of scaling and cropping video seemed extremely intimidating to me, but once you figure out how to do it in Final Cut Pro X, it’s pretty easy. When you select a video in the timeline, you can click on its characteristics in the Video pane. Click the Transform tool to move and scale your video file—you can even just drag it around on the screen in the preview window. Click the Crop tool to crop your video.

The video pane (right) lets you move, crop, and scale video clips like the map capture selected at far left.

The shape of our D&D maps can vary quite a bit based on the rooms that we’re exploring, so the cropping I do on my map video varies throughout the entire three-hour-long session. To make different crops at different points, I use the Blade tool in Final Cut Pro. To use the blade tool, just type the letter b, and your cursor becomes a blade, ready to split any clip in the timeline into two separate clips at the place where you click. (Type a to return to a normal cursor when you’re done.) I use the Blade tool to chop my two video files whenever I need them to change their orientation, and then move and crop them as needed.

Another cool option is duplicating your video clip and using different parts of it in different places. My Google Hangouts video features a large image of the person who’s currently talking, and a series of thumbnails of everyone’s faces at the bottom of the screen. When I want to put them in different places, I duplicate my video in the timeline and crop each copy to only display the relevant portion. You can even do this multiple times, creating a big stack of duplicate videos, all with different portions cropped out.

The shapes of my Google Hangouts video and the map capture don’t usually fit together like pieces of a puzzle, so I bring in some graphics files to fill the space (and remind people what they’re watching). A quick trip to Photoshop generated a banner version of our podcast logo that I was able to drop in and fill a bunch of black space on the screen. I also brought in a transparent PNG file of the Incomparable logo, and dropped it in the bottom-left corner of the screen and set that object to a low opacity, replicating annoying TV-network bugs. Always be branding.

That leaves audio, which is also pretty straightforward. I was able to drag in audio files of the podcast’s theme song and position those properly, drop in a large video logo at the very start of the podcast as a title card, and drop in a high-quality audio file based on every participant’s local recording of their microphone rather than the muddy version recorded by Google Hangouts.

The end result is hardly a network TV production, but it’s a lot better than any of the source material on its own. And I was able to do it in Final Cut without too much of a learning curve.


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Úll 2016

Killarney

The Úll Conference may be the single best conference experience I have ever had. It’s always held in a small venue where the conference takes over the facilities, and the last three years it’s been out in the Irish countryside. This year’s Úll (Irish for “Apple”) conference is November 1-2 in Killarney, Ireland, in the same amazing venue as last year’s event. This is a unique event and if you can make it, I highly recommend it. Attendees board a chartered train (that’s right, we get our own train) at Dublin’s Heuston Station, which will take us across to Killarney. It’s magical.

I’m so fortunate to have been asked to return to Úll this year. I’ll be doing something a bit different: I’ll be hosting and producing a series of audio programs from the event, featuring the speakers and attendees. It’s called Ull Radio and even if you’re not going this year, you can subscribe to it as a podcast via iTunes or Overcast or any podcast app via this RSS feed.

I hope to see some of you there!


Jason Snell for Macworld

What’s next for Siri? ↦

It’s been nearly five years since Scott Forstall stood on stage and introduced Siri to the world. Siri has come a long way since the days of the iPhone 4S, and now Apple’s voice-controlled assistant is on our iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and even-thanks to macOS Sierra-our Macs.

But by almost any measurement, these are the very earliest days of intelligent-assistant technologies. Five years might as well be a wink of an eye. The next few years will be very important for Siri and its cousins-Cortana, Alexa, and the Google Assistant. Here’s a look at where Siri goes from here.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦



Podcast

The Rebound 105: If It Ain’t Bokeh, Don’t Fix It

The Rebound

We take a somewhat quiet week in tech and make lemonade! We discuss some of Sierra’s new features, speculate on the arrival of new Macs, and talk about the bokeh features of the iPhone 7 Plus’s camera. Most importantly, Lex and John mock Dan’s music wishlist. But don’t worry: it’s all brought to you by friendship.


Linked by Jason Snell

BlackBerry to stop making hardware

Ina Fried of Recode reports on BlackBerry exiting the hardware business:

The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners,” CEO John Chen said in a statement. “This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital.”

We talked about this on today’s episode of Clockwise. It’s really easy to point at BlackBerry executives’ denial upon the announcement of the iPhone and laugh. But BlackBerry was in a tough position—they had all the advantages of a successful incumbent, but that success also made it difficult to change. Even if they had realized months or even years earlier that the iPhone (and soon, Android) was going to destroy their business, I’m not sure if they would have been able to make the changes necessary to compete with those upstarts.

It strikes me that the right strategy for BlackBerry might have been to embrace the idea of BlackBerry as a secure information service provider rather than a hardware maker, and roll out BlackBerry apps on every possible mobile platform. That way, even if a government or enterprise worker wanted to get an iPhone, they’d still be using BlackBerry servers and sending BlackBerry messages.

I don’t think BlackBerry was ever going to be able to compete with the rise of iPhone and Android. But perhaps they could’ve benefited from it anyway.


Podcast

Clockwise #156: Right, That’s Still Going On!

Clockwise

This week Georgia Dow and Anze Tomic join us on Clockwise to talk blocking spam calls, other uses for a Galaxy Note 7, the prospect (again) of Google-built phones, and Blackberry’s body hitting the floor.


Linked by Jason Snell

‘Why AirPods Are The Best Place For Siri’

My old colleague Mark Sullivan talked to Apple legend Bill Atkinson about how voice interfaces in our ears are the future of human-computer interaction:

Bill Atkinson points to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series from the 1980s, in which an artificial sentience called “Jane” lives in a crystal planted in the ear of the main character, Ender. Jane can do millions of computations per second and is aware and responsive on millions of levels. She’s hesitant to make herself known to humans because she’s painfully aware of the dangerous feelings of inferiority she may awaken in them. Pretty brilliant stuff.

Siri is headed for something like Jane, eventually, Atkinson says. “I think of this as Jane 0.1,” Atkinson says. “Within a few years it’s going to be able to do lots of things: It will hear everything you hear, it’s going to be able to whisper in your ear.”

(Bonus points for the reference to Jane from “Speaker for the Dead”.)

I vividly remember Atkinson giving his presentation at Macworld Expo in 2011 about the future of user interfaces and how he described in great detail how we’d one day put in an earpiece that could talk to us, listen to us, and look at the world around us—and how that would be how the global Internet interacted with us on a moment-to-moment basis. With every passing day his description of that technology seems more accurate.


By Jason Snell

Review: Kobo Aura One is a waterproof “hardcover” ebook reader

The Amazon Kindle Oasis (left) with the Kobo Aura One.

The ebook reader market is funny. After an initial flurry of excitement, we seem to have settled in on the idea that paper books and ebooks are going to coexist, and that some people who choose to read ebooks will just do so on their smartphones and tablets. But that still leaves a really interesting niche for people who do love reading on dedicated reading devices with screens that are more like a book’s pages than a computer’s backlit display.

For pure utility, the $120 Kindle Paperwhite is the ebook reader you should buy. But what’s more interesting are the developments at the high end of this category, where premium ebook readers have become a thing. First was the $290 Kindle Oasis, which is beautiful, small, and thin.

So when Kobo announced the $229 Kobo Aura One, I was intrigued. It’s a premium ebook reader like the Kindle Oasis, but Kobo has made a bunch of different choices about what that means and what features matter to ebook readers.

I bought a Kobo Aura One to try it out and have been using it for a couple of weeks, the first time I’ve used an ebook reader that wasn’t a Kindle. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a lot of the choices Kobo has made, and while I’m not sure it’s better than the Oasis, it’s most certainly different.

Let’s start with the size: The Aura One has a 7.8-inch diagonal screen with a screen resolution of 300 ppi. That’s the same resolution as all but the cheapest of Amazon’s Kindles, but it’s a much larger screen—the Kindle screens are all only 6 inches diagonal. The end result is that reading a book on an Aura One feels like reading a hardcover, while reading on a Kindle feels like reading a paperback. There’s more text on the screen and you need to turn the page much less frequently. The extra reading space isn’t necessary, per se, but it does feel luxurious.

kobo-screen
The tiled Kobo Aura One home screen.

Hardcover books can be heavy, though: the last hardcover novel I read before I bought my first kindle weighed 2.8 pounds! The Aura One isn’t like that—at 8.1 ounces, it’s about the same weight as the Kindle Paperwhite. The Oasis, on the other hand, weighs 4.6 ounces. I was comfortable holding the Aura One and reading for long stretches of time, but if you’re looking for the lightest ebook reader around, the Oasis is for you. The Oasis also offers hardware page-turn buttons; to turn pages on the Aura One, you’ve got to swipe or tap on the screen.

This is not to say that the Aura One doesn’t have its own advantages. It’s waterproof, for one, which no Kindle has ever been able to claim. If you’re someone who reads in a bathtub or hot tub, or otherwise walks the perilous path between reading and water, this is a huge feature in the Aura One’s favor.

Like the Kindle Voyage (but not, strangely, the Oasis), the Aura One has a light sensor that allows it to dynamically adjust its screen brightness based on your surroundings. (Like most Kindles, the Aura One is illuminated internally by a ring of lights.) Unlike the Kindle, the Aura One has a feature that’s akin to Apple’s Night Shift—it can skew its lighting into warmer tones in the evening. If you’re someone who wants to get blue light out of your eyes at night, that’s another point in the Aura One’s favor.

In the end, though, shopping for an ebook reader comes down to the ecosystem it’s connected to. Kobo readers are wired to buy books from the Kobo store; Amazon readers buy from Amazon. You can’t easily migrate your books from one store to another, so if you’ve invested in the Kindle ecosystem it would be hard to switch to the Aura One. That said, I used the open-source app Calibre to convert some of my Kindle books into DRM-free Epub files and then read them on the Kobo. So it’s not impossible to make the transition if you only occasionally want to dip into the archives.

Pocket on the Aura One.

Amazon still offers daily newspapers for the Kindle, which Kobo doesn’t, though both stores offer magazines. Kobo has a leg up on Amazon in a couple other areas: native support for Pocket and Overdrive.

Pocket is a read-it-later service that lets you save stuff on the Web to read at a later time. It’s a perfect fit for an ereader—I use Instapaper to send stories to my Kindle all the time. But on the Aura One, Pocket is integrated right into the device. Just log in with your Pocket account, and your articles will sync, ready to be read on the device. It couldn’t be easier.

Overdrive is a system (owned by the same company, Rakuten, that owns Kobo) that lets your local library offer ebooks for check-out to patrons. You can check out books from Overdrive and download them to your Kindle, but it’s a multi-step process that involves logging in to the Overdrive web site, picking a book, then linking over to Amazon. On the Aura One, all of that happens on the device, which is much more convenient.

Library check-outs are hidden in a sub-menu.

There’s just one problem: The Aura One doesn’t give you a way to search your local library’s collection of ebooks on the device. If you want to read a book, you can search for it in the Kobo store and then tap a More Options icon to see if it’s available on Overdrive. It reminded me of that Douglas Adams line about an item being put on public display “at the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” Once you find a book that’s offered by your library, it takes a couple of taps to check it out and read it—but Kobo is not making much of an effort to let you find library books or remind you that a particular book is available for free check-out. Two steps forward, one step back.

After years of using the Amazon Kindle interface, I was interested in Kobo’s very different approach. Instead of making a list of your documents the home screen, the Aura One features a set of tiles that highlight books and apps that you’ve used recently. I’m not sure if I prefer it to a no-frills list of what’s on the device, but I generally never needed to go to that list, since the books I was currently reading were always offered on tiles. I also found Kobo’s typography quite good, with several different font choices as well as the ability to turn off forced justification on books. My only complaint on this score is that book text seemed strangely framed on any book that wasn’t bought from the Kobo store or checked out via Overdrive, with almost no white space at the top of the screen and too much at the bottom.

(Update: Thanks to reader Eliot Lovell, I discovered this set of Calibre plugins that gets Epub files in a more Kobo-friendly format, and solves the rendering issues it seems to have with generic, unconverted Epubs.)

In the end, where does the Kobo Aura One rank? If you’re not deeply tied into the Amazon ecosystem and screen size or waterproofing mean more to you than weight, the Aura One’s a better choice than the Oasis—and it’s $60-$80 cheaper. (Unlike Amazon, Kobo doesn’t make you pay $20 to remove ads—and it does the right thing and shows the cover art of the book you’re currently reading when it’s turned off.)

If you want a no-frills ebook reader, I stand by my recommendation of the $120 Kindle Paperwhite. If you’re looking for something more, the $229 Kobo Aura One is an appealing option.

See more Kindle coverage.


By Jason Snell

Messages on iOS 10: Better features, worse usability

I like a whole lot of what Apple’s trying to do with Messages in iOS 10. Message-sending is the killer app of smartphones, and Apple’s text-and-photos approach to messaging was too basic. With iOS 10, Messages is fun again.

messages-ufo-5440

I love those stickers. They’re silly, sure, but they’re a ton of fun.

And effects! Don’t get me started. Sending the word balloons, but with the Lasers effect? It’s the best. I really do enjoy sending messages with those effects, though I admit that my enjoyment is almost entirely ironic. It doesn’t matter. They’re silly and fun.

But here’s the thing: Apple has packed tons of fun things into Messages in iOS 10—but the interface itself has broken down. No, Messages isn’t as inscrutable as Snapchat, but it’s not what I’d call a well-designed app. It’s an app that’s full of features, but too many features are impossible to discover. Overall, Messages for iOS 10 is just way too complicated.

Let’s start with the blue up arrow, which has replaced the Send button. Its placement, where the old Send button was, is probably enough to get across what you do when you tap it, but I’ve seen numerous people upgrade to iOS 10 and then get confused how to send a simple text message.

messages-effects

What’s worse than the arrow itself is what’s hidden behind the arrow. If you use 3D Touch (or touch and hold on non-3D-Touch-capable devices), you get access to all those effects—four effects that animate the bubble you’re sending, and five that animate the entire message window. Those effects are fun, and once you know to use 3D Touch they’re pretty easy to send (though if your grip’s not secure, you could find yourself pressing the send button instead of bringing up the effects window).

What about discovery? There’s simply no way, short of trial and error, for someone to figure out how to send effects. This is a problem with a lot of the design of iOS 10, where there are lots of extra features concealed a tap or swipe away, but without any indication that there’s anything more you can do on that screen. (Try to toggle shuffle on and off in Music. You have to know to scroll the album art up to reveal the additional controls, but how would you know? Again, once you know the feature is there, it’s pretty nifty—but it’s just frustrating unless you are in on the secret.)

On the iPad, there’s an ink button parked on the keyboard. Tap it, and you get a white area where you can draw a message as if you were writing in ink. I don’t really understand the rationale for placing that feature inside a software keyboard, and I always forget that it’s there, but that’s where Apple has put it. On the iPhone, it’s even weirder—you get to the interface by turning your phone on its side so it’s in landscape orientation, at which point the writing space appears.

All the other features are located under a gray greater-than symbol to the left of the text input area. Tap that symbol and you’ll see three different symbols—a camera, a heart with two fingers, and the somewhat familiar App Store logo. The camera icon is clear enough, though you have to swipe to the right to reveal that you have access to a full-screen camera view as well as the traditional photo-library picker.

messages-digital-touch-help

The Digital Touch view (the heart with two fingers) has been imported from the Apple Watch, and combined with a video-camera feature. I’m willing to accept that this is the most Snapchat-like of all Messages features, and that someone my daughter’s age might find it awesome. I find it a little confusing. You can tap a carat icon to take the Digital Touch panel full screen, so you can draw an animated messages in a larger space. There’s an animated panel just above it that shows you what different finger gestures will do, and if you tap it, a help page will slide up. For a simple, fun feature, it’s not so simple.

Then there’s the app store. I like the idea of a Messages app store, full of sticker packs and apps that can integrate the intelligence of standalone apps with the freewheeling conversation of a text message. But the complexity of this interface is pretty breathtaking. Here’s how to direct someone to the Messages App Store: Tap the gray greater-than sign, then the App Store icon, then the four-circles icon in the bottom left corner of the screen, then the icon with a plus symbol that’s labeled Store. Four taps to get to the App Store seems like a lot, but there it is.

Finally, let’s talk about the message window itself. Stickers can very easily cover your conversation, and it’s not obvious how to get them out of the way to read a text. The Tap Back feature, which lets you give a quick reaction of one of six icons to any given message, is invisible unless you go looking for it—or activate it accidentally.

I like Apple’s instincts in transforming Messages like it has in iOS 10. But the interface is in need of a lot of refinement. Some features aren’t at all discoverable, and others are buried behind complex chains of icon taps and slide-up interfaces. (I’m also not sure why Digital Touch and the ink-writing feature are different.) There’s a lot of fun stuff here, but for more people to embrace it, they need to be able to find it and use it with ease. A messaging app shouldn’t be boring—but it also shouldn’t be hard to use. In iOS 10, Apple has traded one problem for another.

See more iOS 10 coverage.


Podcast

Upgrade #108: It’s a Great Feature When It Works

Upgrade

This week on Upgrade, Myke Hurley and Jason take the beta version of the iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait mode for a spin. Then Jason recounts his favorite and least favorite features of macOS Sierra, and Myke explains why—despite the name of this show—he’s not going to upgrade.


Linked by Jason Snell

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

My friend Stephen Hackett has a child with cancer. Josiah’s story is sad and inspiring and scary and amazing and pretty much all the emotions wrapped together in one big ball. I got to meet Josiah and the rest of Stephen’s family last month in Memphis. That is a house filled with love. (And old Macs.)

This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I encourage you to learn more about it and donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in honor of Josiah, and Stephen, and the Hackett family, and all children who face this disease.


By Jason Snell

Introducing “Photos: A Take Control Crash Course”

photos-cover

So this summer I wrote an ebook: Photos: A Take Control Crash Course.

More accurately, I wrote an entirely new edition of my old Take Control ebook about Photos. The old book covered Photos for Mac 1.0 and was updated last fall with the changes to Photos that came with El Capitan.

This year’s macOS Sierra release includes the biggest update to Photos yet, and there were huge additions to the Photos app on iOS, as well. Since Apple really does seem to view Photos as a single app that spans all of its platforms, it made sense to update the book to cover not just all the changes to Photos on the Mac, but also to cover the features of Photos on iOS. So this book does both, along with giving a nod to watchOS and tvOS.

You can buy the book here for $10. (If you bought my old book about Photos, check out your email—you should’ve received an upgrade offer to the new version.)



Podcast

The Rebound 104: SIMs and Needles

The Rebound

This week, it’s a cascading catalog of Lex’s tech afflictions, some iPhone 7 reactions, and discussion about how to improve Dan’s Sonos experience. We also discuss Twitter’s potential suitors, Apple’s rumored Echo competitor, Google Allo’s privacy implications, and, of course, a $12 Bluetooth speaker for your bathroom.


Dan Moren for Macworld

How Apple’s hardline privacy policy limits key features in Photos and Siri ↦

Over the last several years, Apple has taken a number of opportunities to present itself in stark contrast against one of its chief rivals, Google, but nowhere more in the firm position Cupertino takes against collecting any more data than it needs to about its customers.

Privacy is obviously a major concern in the digital age, and Apple’s stance is largely applauded—and with good reason. But at the same time, that choice doesn’t come without its costs, both to Apple and to its users. By taking such a hardline stance, the company has hindered the development of some of its features, and perhaps even negated some of the advantages of its ecosystem.

There are places, it seems, where a balance is not only desirable but necessary. This isn’t to say Apple should sacrifice security and privacy in favor of capabilities, but that the company should be able to make use of its immense talent to find a middle ground that maintains users’ privacy and provides the features that people want.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Linked by Dan Moren

Report: Apple looking to beef up smart home, Siri

Mark Gurman’s latest for Bloomberg is mainly about Apple working on an Amazon Echo competitor that may or may not materialize, but I was fascinated about this bit near the end on the roadmap for Siri:

Beyond the home device, Apple is researching new ways to improve Siri on iPhones and iPads, two people said. With an initiative code-named “Invisible Hand,” Apple hopes to give users the ability to fully control their devices through a Siri command system within three years, one of the people added. Currently, the voice assistant is able to respond to commands within its application, but Apple’s goal is for Siri to be able to control the entire system without having to open an app or reactivate Siri.

For example, a user would be able to ask their iPhone to open a web page and then share it with a friend without the need to ever launch the Siri interface. Other examples from Apple’s current research include being able to print a PDF by speaking “print” while reading it or saying “help” in order for the system to help the user navigate a particular task or application. Apple has also been researching opening this ability to third-party apps, the person said.

First of all, if there’s a codename creepier than “Invisible Hand,” Apple hasn’t found it yet. More to the point, though, this seems like a natural evolution of Siri, and also seems like it would be a powerful boon to those looking for a more accessible iPhone.

The whole piece is worth a read, and certainly seems to support the hypothesis that a Siri-powered speaker is in the making—even if it might not find its way to market.


Jason Snell for Macworld

6 Photos features that are worth the upgrade to macOS Sierra ↦

When people ask me for the single best reason to upgrade to macOS Sierra, the answer I give them doesn’t involve Siri or Auto Unlock or iCloud Drive. It’s version 2.0 of Photos, the biggest update to Apple’s photo-management utility app since it debuted in the spring of 2015.

I’ve been using Photos 2.0 extensively all summer as a part of my testing of macOS Sierra. My six favorite features make Photos almost singlehandedly worth the upgrade to Sierra.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


By Jason Snell

First impressions of Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus

blurry cat GIF

The developer beta of iOS 10.1 dropped today, along with a story from TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino about the new beta Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7 Plus.

I spent a little bit this afternoon shooting some pictures with Portrait mode. My first impression is that it’s the most interactive shooting mode Apple has provided: A text overlay will tell you if you need to “Move farther away” or if there’s “More light required” or if you should “Place subject within 8 feet.” If it can’t produce a depth effect, it just takes a regular picture when you press the button. (If it can produce an effect, it saves both images—one without the effect, and one with.)

When the alerts vanish, however, the depth effect happens live, on your screen, so you can see what you’re about to capture. Shooting appears to happen with the telephoto lens; the range finding is happening on the wide-angle lens.

flowerpot

I was pretty impressed by the results of many of the pictures. Not all of them turned out, which I’d expect in general—and certainly consider this is a beta feature on a beta iOS release. When they turned out, they looked great. Pictures of my cat (like the one up top) managed to keep his head, upper body, and a stuck-out paw in clear focus while gradually blurring his lower body and completely blurring the scene outside my back door.

On Twitter, I heard from numerous people who noticed issues in the foreground (some blurred splotches, for instance, but no real blurred foreground). I’m not sure whether Apple is particularly concerned about pleasing people who know how a real depth-of-field blur effect would work, though, or just making an image with a pleasant effect. I’d say this beta is well on the way to doing the latter.

There’s much more to play with here. But I’ve got to say, seeing these initial results, I think this is going to be a really crowd-pleasing feature.


Linked by Jason Snell

Hands on with iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode

Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch took the new iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode for a spin in a preview of the iOS 10.1 beta. It’s a really good story, explaining how the feature works, where it excels, and where it falls down. With lots of image samples!