If you suck at taking photos with your iPhone, Apple has tips for you

Friday

Apple just released a dozen of videos on its website about the camera on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. At first I thought it would be a step-by-step three-minute tutorial explaining all the buttons in the Camera app. But it focuses more on hidden features and how to get the most out of your phone’s camera.

Named ‘How to shoot on iPhone 7’, the series shows real life examples of things you might want to do with your phone. The narrative is quite clear: according to Apple, you don’t really need a dedicated camera if you have an iPhone 7 as you can do a ton of stuff with your phone already.

The user interface of the camera app hasn’t really changed over the last few years. It doesn’t mean that Apple stopped adding features. Instead, you have to know what you’re looking for because the power of the Camera app isn’t really obvious.

For instance, I forgot that you can take burst photos by keeping your finger on the shutter button. The videos also remind you that you can use the volume buttons to take pictures, or that you can lock auto focus and then manually change exposure.

I usually say that Apple’s keynotes aren’t just product announcements. They are also a great way to teach millions of people how to use their computing devices.

Apple’s software isn’t drastically simpler than the competition. It’s just already familiar because some executive from Apple told you what you could do with it. Then you share this knowledge with your friends and everybody feels like a power user.

Today’s videos are a good addition to this system. Now that apps like Snapchat and Instagram are also trying to replace the Camera app on the iPhone, it’s a good time to remind everyone that you can do a lot more with the default Camera app because third-party apps can’t access all camera features with the iOS APIs. There’s no burst mode or Panorama mode in Snapchat for instance.

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