Instagram is building new zoom, filter, and GIF features for the iPhone 7 camera

The iPhone 7’s powerful new camera features will be getting the spotlight in an upcoming version of Instagram. Ian Spalter, Instagram’s head of design, appeared on-stage at the iPhone 7 launch event to demo the iPhone-inspired upgrades coming to his app.

The iPhone 7 Plus telephoto zoom lens will be usable by dragging a single finger up and down in Instagram — an interface popularized by Snapchat. Haptic feedback will help you know just how zoomed you are, and could help you stay in the 2X optical zoom offered by the iPhone 7 Plus without straying into digital zoom that degrades quality. Instagram added one-finger zoom to Stories last month so you can do comedic zoom effects while shooting video or quickly line up a shot.


Instagram will take advantage of the new iPhone 7 Plus telephoto lens for optical zoom

All of Instagram’s color filters are being redesigned to take advantage of the iPhone 7 camera sensor’s wide-gamut color detection. This will make Instagrams even more vivid by divining a broader range hues from your shots.

3D Touch will let you jump right into adding a photo to your Instagram Story. Since Stories are supposed to be raw and off-the-cuff, getting to their camera quicker should let people shoot better candids and avoid missing those spontaneous moments.


Ian Spalter demonstrates the upcoming Instagram for iPhone 7 features

And thanks to the Live Photos API, iPhone Live Photos will be able to instantly be converted into Instagram Boomerang back-and-forth GIFs. Previously, you had to shoot Boomerangs in its dedicated app that takes a bunch of stills and combines them into an animation. The new version will let you just shoot in the default iPhone camera and then morph them into Boomerangs.

The partnership between Apple and the Facebook-owned Instagram could drive a potential strategy where Apple builds the underlying technology while leaving the creative flourishes to Instagram. Apple didn’t announce its own animated GIF Boomerang competitor. Instead it’s doing what it does best — the hardware — and letting Instagram handle how to turn that raw power into art.