Halide II camera app adds iPhone 13 Pro-style Macro Mode to older iPhone models with a Neural Engine
Apple is calling the updates to the cameras on the new iPhone 13 Pro models the “biggest upgrade ever”. The rear camera array is certainly the largest we’ve seen yet on an iPhone and each lens is clearly much bigger than before helping more light reach each sensor. One new feature that seemed exclusive to the new iPhone 13 Pro models is its Macro Mode; however, the makers of the popular iPhone and iPad camera app Halide II have added a new Macro Mode that enables macro photographic capabilities on the regular iPhone 13 and older iPhones too.
According to the developers, the Halide Macro Mode uses technology it calls Neural Macro that uses AI-based detail enhancement that utilizes the iPhone Neural Engine on iPhone 8 and later models. When activated, Halide switches to the lens with the closest focus distance to capture the close-up shot. It then intelligently upscales images at 2x and even up to 3x the scale. It even lets users change their mind about a crop as the full uncropped version of the photo is stored in the iPhoto library.
While the results may vary depending on iPhone model, as you would expect with lens, camera sensor and Neural Engine technology that dates back up to several years, Halide II does a very impressive job. Talented Twitter user @iam_tech posted the images embedded below the article. He used an iPhone XS (non-Max) to capture the shots and while they may not be quite at the level of resolution you can get from the new iPhone 13 Pro models, they are still excellent. It’s certainly great to see older iPhone hardware given a new lease of life through an app that really leverages Apple’s silicon to its fullest.