Apple releases iOS 10.1 with the iPhone 7 Plus’ Portrait mode

Apple has just released the first significant update for iOS 10. As expected, the main focus of iOS 10.1 is that insane Portrait mode for the iPhone 7 Plus. The update is rolling out and is available both over-the-air in the Settings app, and by plugging your device into iTunes for a wired update.

If you have an iPhone 7 Plus and can’t wait, navigate to ‘Settings,’ then ‘General’ and then ‘Software Update’ to get the update as quickly as possible. If you don’t have an iPhone 7 Plus, you should still update your iPhone and iPad to 10.1 as it should iron some of the bugs in the 10.0 update and bring you some important security fixes.

But let’s come back to the Portrait mode. Our own Matthew Panzarino already wrote a feature article on this new mode. It’s a software feature that takes advantage of the two lenses on the iPhone 7 Plus to create some background blur.

Apple is taking advantage of the two lenses to detect 9 levels of depth. Then, the phone adds some software blur to the background layers. You can’t customize the effect, so it’s going to be a hit-or-miss.

And yet, in many cases, the Portrait mode works quite well. iPhone 7 Plus users will have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. But if you’re disappointed by a shot, you can always disable the Portrait mode after shooting the photo and go back to the original shot without the software blur.

Apple is still working on this feature and it’s going to get better over the coming months. So, for now, while iOS 10.1 is out of beta, the Portrait mode is still considered a “beta” feature.

TechCrunch’s Yashad Kulkarni spent some time using the beta on his phone and he got some great shots. Here’s what you can expect with the new Portrait mode in iOS 10.1 (click to view the gallery):