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As a parent, there’s one iPhone 15 feature I can’t wait to use

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras.

Apple’s next-generation iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models are finally here. The entire iPhone 15 lineup has Dynamic Island and USB-C. With the standard iPhone 15, you get the A16 Bionic that was introduced last year, and the iPhone 15 Pro models get the new A17 Pro chip and Action button. And if you opt for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, you also get the brand new tetraprism telephoto lens for 5x optical zoom capabilities.

While the new hardware changes are nice, Apple also has some new software features that are exclusive to the iPhone 15 lineup. One of these is the new Auto Portrait mode, and as a parent of a very active toddler, this is one of the most exciting things for me about the entire iPhone 15 lineup.

What is Auto Portrait?

iPhone 15 camera.

Portrait mode was introduced with the iPhone 7 Plus all the way back in 2016. It used two lenses to detect up to nine levels of depth in an image and then applied a blur to some of those layers. The result was an image that looked like it was taken with a DSLR rather than a smartphone camera.

When Apple added this to iOS, you’d have to manually enable it by switching from the default Photo mode to Portrait mode. With Auto Portrait, when the focus detects a person or even a pet, it will automatically capture depth data in the photo, even while in regular Photo mode.

With Auto Portrait, even if you didn’t switch over to Portrait mode, you can still change the depth of field after the fact, turning it into a Portrait mode image in the editing stage. It’s a very useful feature for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users, especially for a certain demographic.

Why this is a game-changer for parents

View of the iPhone 15 Pro's camera module.

I’ve been a fan of Portrait mode ever since it was introduced. I haven’t used a digital camera since my days in high school, so it’s definitely been a while, and I love being able to take portraits with nothing more than my phone. It’s one of my most used modes in the Camera app.

As a parent of a single, very active toddler daughter, I can’t tell you how happy I am that Apple is making this improvement to Portrait mode. One of the reasons I have a 1TB iPhone is because I take a million pictures of my daughter (okay, I’m overemphasizing, but you get the point) each day. And when I say active, I mean it’s really hard to get her to stay still for a good photo because she loves to just move. If you have had a toddler, I’m sure you can understand my frustrations.

The iPhone 15 in black and pink colors.
iPhone 15 with Dynamic Island Apple

Through a lot of trial and error, I end up with good regular photos, but I always think to myself that the image could have looked better as a portrait instead. But that’s the problem with toddlers and even very active pets — you just don’t always have time to switch over to Portrait mode because every second counts. I mean, you can blink, and then the perfect pose is gone, and they don’t want to recreate it. That’s happened to me numerous times, and if you’re a parent, you know what I mean.

With Auto Portrait, that’s now a thing of the past. As long as you have an iPhone 15, you can snap away and get the perfect portrait photo after the fact by adjusting the depth levels to your liking.

As a parent of both a toddler and a Siberian Husky, I can’t wait to use Auto Portrait with my 1TB iPhone 15 Pro that I preordered last Friday. From what it looks like, there won’t be any extra fiddling around to enable the feature, and as a busy parent, that’s always music to my ears.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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