If you’re on the fence about upgrading your iPhone, there’s another great reason not to. Multi-camera recording, one of the most impressive features of the iPhone 11 line debuted at an Apple event last week, is also coming to the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max when iOS 13 arrives later this week.
According to 9to5Mac, while recording video streams from multiple cameras at the same time does require significant hardware and processing to pull off, it’s actually a feature enabled by a new API that’s being introduced as part of the iOS 13 update which should be available starting on September 19, and a feature that the previous generation of iPhones are capable of—mostly.
The iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max will be limited to recording two simultaneous streams from various combinations of its cameras, including the front and back, so users can even capture their own reactions of a video if they so desire. It’s not a feature that will be available with iOS’s standard camera app, even with the new iPhone 11 models, but developers can add it to their own third-party applications, as we saw with the new version of Filmic Pro which was demo’d at Apple’s event and will be available later this year. However, Apple has cautioned developers that depending on what their app is doing and how processor-intensive it is (such as applying filters in real-time or adding augmented reality objects) they might be limited to only accessing lower quality video feeds from the cameras, instead of full 4K.
Apple hasn’t made it entirely clear how many simultaneous video streams can be captured using the new iPhone 11 models, but given the specific limitations imposed on the XR, XS, and XS Max, we’re assuming it can record at least three streams simultaneously at full resolution to help pro users justify the upgrade, and four might even be a possibility if users are willing to limit the quality and stick to HD resolutions or even less.