Apple’s ‘Deep Fusion’ Camera System Is Coming to iPhone 11 Models Soon

Apple Deep Fusion Credit: Apple
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Apple is reportedly going to introduce its new Deep Fusion computational photography feature in a soon-to-come iOS 13 developer beta. Presumably, that will be the first beta version of iOS 13.2. And while there have been reports that the dev beta is already out, that does not appear to be the case. Here’s what you should know.

What Is Deep Fusion?

If you need a refresher on what Deep Fusion is, it’s a new proprietary image processing system that Apple SVP Phil Schiller called “computational photography mad science.”

That’s fairly vague. Just know that Deep Fusion is a machine-learning platform that will make your photos look even better — if you take them on an iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Essentially, the system relies on the new A13 Bionic and Neural Engine to carry out machine learning-based, pixel-by-pixel processing and optimization of images. It’ll enhance the texture and detail of images, as well as reduce noise.

Apple says the system will kick in automatically when a device detects an image taken in medium lighting and it’s aimed primarily at indoor photographs. Whether it does activate seems dependent on which lens you’re currently using.

  • For example, photos taken with the wide-angle lens will tend to use Smart HDR by default in brightly lit scenes.
  • If you’re shooting in medium or low light, Deep Fusion will be enabled.

How it actually works is pretty complicated. But, in a nutshell, it’ll take a series of images that Apple’s machine learning algorithms will merge and combine. From there, it’ll process each pixel of the image to increase detail.

The end result is some top-tier photography, thanks to computers. There will be noticeable improvements in skin transitions, clothing detail and crispness around the edges of moving subjects.

Because the processing and optimization is complex, it’ll take some time — about 1 second. In the meantime, Apple will show you a temporary shot until your iPhone quickly replaces it with the actual Deep Fusion image.

Unlike the new iPhone Night Mode, Deep Fusion will happen in the background and there won’t be any option to toggle it off. And also unlike Night Mode, it did not launch concurrently with this year’s iPhones.

That’s all well and good, but when will iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 users actually be able to use Deep Fusion? At this point, it’s not clear.

When Is It Coming Out?

Despite the fact that news outlets like The Verge and TechCrunch are reporting that Deep Fusion is available “now” in the latest iOS 13 developer beta, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

In fact, there does not appear to be an iOS 13 developer beta release today at all.

While it’s possible that a dev beta will be seeded later today, Apple typically releases new beta builds before 12 p.m. Pacific Time. If we’re going on precedent, you should probably not expect a new beta build today.

On the other hand, today’s reporting does suggest that the next developer beta build of iOS 13 will introduce Deep Fusion. Presumably, that will end up being iOS 13.2 beta 1.

As far as when that beta version will be released, we don’t know. But it could still come sometime this week.

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