The problem with an older iPhone, apart from the fact that Apple slows down your old iPhone, is that you do not get all the new features that are added in subsequent iOS updates. In some cases, this is a hardware restriction. In other cases, Apple is being narrow minded. iOS has a neat, selfie-centered feature called Portrait mode. The feature was added in iOS 10 but it isn’t available on older iPhones or phones that only have one camera. The good news is, you can still get portrait mode on an unsupported iPhone with an app called HeroShot. It’s a free app that does a reasonably good job at replicating the feature.

Get Portrait Mode

HeroShot works with both the front and rear end camera and you must be running iOS 11 or later to use it. This means iPhone 5 owners will not be able to use it.

Open the app and it will automatically look for a face to focus on. Allow it to find a face and tap the capture button at the bottom. The preview will show you what part is in focus and what is being treated as the background.

The Portrait mode that HeroShot adds is a sort of faux depth of field effect. It’s pretty convincing even though it isn’t the real thing. The app by default only saves the photo with the added depth of field effect. If you want to save the original photo as well, you have to enable it from the app’s options.

To go to HeroShot’s options, tap the recent photo thumbnail inside the app. When it opens the photo, you will see a cog wheel button at the bottom center. Tap it and turn on the ‘Keep Normal Photo’ option. You can also turn off auto-adjust, auto-level, haptic feedback, and the camera going to sleep automatically if it’s idle.

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Limitations

Although the portrait mode that HeroShot adds is reasonably good, you can’t compare it with the stock iOS feature. That said, this isn’t a sham. Google’s own Camera app has a neat blur mode that can add depth of field to any object and it’s been there since Android 5. This feature can be added via software provided you have a good camera to begin with. Case in point, Google is adding something similar to the existing line of Pixel phones through the OS. There are no hardware updates and the feature is again, pretty good.