Apple announced the iPhone 7 Plus during a press conference on Wednesday, and one of its headlining features is a 12MP dual-camera module. It’s a capable little bugger on its own — it counts optical image stabilization, a 28mm wide-angle lens with f/1.8 aperture, a flicker sensor, a powerful image signal processor, and optical zoom among its many talents — but more importantly, it’s an open one: third-party apps and software can readily leverage its picture-taking prowess. Case in point: Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, will soon tap into the iPhone 7 Plus’s beefed-up sensor to deliver enhanced zoom and more colorful pics.
First of all, future versions of Instagram will take advantage of the iPhone 7 Plus’s telephoto lens for optical zooming. In the coming months, Instagram photographers with the iPhone 7 Plus will be able to zoom into scenes by dragging a finger anywhere within the viewfinder. Haptic feedback will indicate how far they’ve zoomed (a feature more important than it sounds), as the iPhone 7 Plus’s sensor switches from an optical zoom to grainier, noisier digital zoom at 2x magnification. Being able to know just when to turn will no doubt prove useful.
Instagram on the iPhone 7 is also gaining redesigned color filters. As Instagram Head of Design Ian Spalter demonstrated on the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium stage Wednesday, the iPhone 7’s improved color-capturing ability necessitates a subtle selection of filters. Spalter said the reworked library should result in Instagram edits that are more “vibrant” and “vivid” than ever before.
Instagram’s other improvements are a bit more hardware agnostic. 3D Touch support will let users swiftly add photos to their Instagram Story, Instagram’s chronological feature that collates the day’s most poignant snaps into a navigable timeline. Live Photos API support, meanwhile, will allow Instagram photogs to convert Live Photos — the seconds-long videos native to the camera app on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and iPhone 7 and 7 Plus — into Instagram Boomerangs, or Instagram’s brand of back-and-forth GIFs. That’s an improvement over the old behavior — currently, Instagram requires that Boomerangs originate within the app itself.
The improved Instagram client is yet another notch on the iPhone 7 Plus’s impressive camera belt. Apple said its specially designed sensor is 60 percent faster than the previous iPhone, 30 percent more energy efficient, and packs an LED flash that offers 50 percent more light. Its processing component performs more than 100 billion operations in the span of 25 milliseconds. And in a software update later this year, it will gain the ability to add a “bokeh” depth effect that’s akin to equivalent DSLR cameras.