iOS 15 is the latest iteration of the iPhone Operating system that was announced as part of WWDC in June 2021. As usual, we had a lot of features that was introduced newly as part of this release. Even though all the apps had some new improvements or changes, FaceTime probably had the newest features and changes that took a good chunk of the WWDC Keynote.
Obviously, because of the coronavirus pandemic, communication has been limited to a large amount to Zoom and Google Meet. Seeing the attention of the people is going towards tools zoom and Google Meet, Apple is trying to a chunk of attention to their own communication product i.e., FaceTime.
Since the advent of FaceTime, making a video or audio calls are limited entirely to the Apple ecosystem. For the first time ever, FaceTime calls can be shared as links and can be attended by non-Apple users via Browser.
What is Portrait Mode?
Portrait Mode is a shooting mode inside iPhone's Camera app that uses software modification to blur the background in your photos and making the subject more clearer and focused in the video feed. Like a portrait photo, you would be more focused on the video feed.
When it comes to FaceTime, obviously, most of the time, we use the front camera to show our faces to our friends and family in the FaceTime call. So, the portrait mode would make the subject prominent in the call as you can clearly see in the image above.
How to enable Portrait mode on FaceTime iOS 15
Now, let's see how we can enable portrait mode in FaceTime calls. There are two ways we can do this but both require you to be already on a Facetime call to enable it.
Using FaceTime app to enable Portrait Mode
Before jumping into the steps, please ensure that you have the public beta or at least developer beta in your iPhone because this feature was specifically introduced in iOS 15.
- As I mentioned earlier, you need to be on a FaceTime call to enable this feature. A FaceTime setting would have been more convenient but we can expect to see that later in iOS 15 or later.
- Once you are on the FaceTime call, Tap on the icon at the top left corner of the screen as you can see in the screenshot below. This is to enable Portrait Mode in FaceTime call.
- Once you tap on it, you video will be automtically changed to Portrait Mode. You could also disable the Portrait mode any time you want by just tapping on it again.
Using Control Center to enable Portrait Mode
This is another way to enable Portrait mode while you are on a FaceTime call. As I mentioned earlier you need either public beta or developer beta to make sure you have access to this feature since this is newly introduced.
- Please make sure that you have started a faceTime call or joined an existing one.
- Once you have joined the call, swipe down at the top right corner of the screen to open the Control center as you can see below in the screenshot.
- Since you are already on the FaceTime call, there are two new indicators called Video and Mic introduced in iOS 15 letting you know that FaceTime is using both the camera and mic in the iPhone.
- To enable the Portrait Mode, Press on the video button or long press on it. This would open a new menu as you can see below. There, by default, the Portrait option will be turned OFF.
- Since we want the portrait mode to be ON, tap on the Portrait option and it would enable as seen below. Now you have portrait mode turned ON in the video you were part of in FaceTime.
This is how you can enable Portrait Mode in iOS 15.
As of July 2021, there is a public beta available for users to test the not-yet stable version of iOS 15. You can sign up at beta.apple.com and download the iOS 15 beta. The public releases are scheduled for this fall and we can expect it alongside the newer version of the iPhone. So, in case if you choose to use the beta, and enable Portrait mode, your friend or family who is on Facetime who hasn't gotten iOS 15 will be able to see your face in Portrait mode.
Bonus: 7 Facetime Apps For Android
Ready to use portrait mode during Facetime calls?
So, yeah this is a new addition to the FaceTime app. I urge you to check out other features like FaceTime Links, Grid View and so many other options to see how Apple has improved the overall video calling experience. Like I said in the intro, Apple really seems like it wants a chunk of the whole virtual communication attention.