News: Apple Releases iOS 13.2 Developer Beta, Includes 'Deep Fusion' Camera Update for iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max

Apple Releases iOS 13.2 Developer Beta, Includes 'Deep Fusion' Camera Update for iPhone 11, 11 Pro & 11 Pro Max

Beta testing Apple's mobile OS has never been more interesting. After eight seeds of iOS 13.0, Apple unexpectedly released the first beta for iOS 13.1, a whopping 23 days before iOS 13.0 made its public debut. Since 13.1, however, we haven't had any betas to sink our teeth into. That is, until now, as Apple just released the first developer beta for iOS 13.2 today, Wednesday, Oct. 2.

This beta release is the first since iOS 13.1 beta 4, which dropped on Sept. 18. As a whole, iOS 13.1 introduced 22 new features to compatible iPhones, which nicely complemented the more than 200 new features iOS 13.0 brought to the table.

So, what's new? First and foremost, Deep Fusion is here. Deep Fusion is Apple's latest update to the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max cameras. Unlike Night Mode, the tech works in the background, so you might not notice it's even there at first. However, you should notice the changes in your photos, as Apple promises images with much deeper levels of detail.

The Verge, which had early access to the feature, explains in detail what's really going on here:

  1. By the time you press the shutter button, the camera has already grabbed four frames at a fast shutter speed to freeze motion in the shot and four standard frames. When you press the shutter it grabs one longer-exposure shot to capture detail.
  1. Those three regular shots and long-exposure shot are merged into what Apple calls a "synthetic long." This is a major difference from Smart HDR.
  1. Deep Fusion picks the short-exposure image with the most detail and merges it with the synthetic long exposure. Unlike Smart HDR, Deep Fusion merges these two frames, not more — although the synthetic long is already made of four previously-merged frames. All the component frames are also processed for noise differently than Smart HDR, in a way that's better for Deep Fusion.
  1. The images are run through four detail processing steps, pixel by pixel, each tailored to increasing amounts of detail — the sky and walls are in the lowest band, while skin, hair, fabrics, and so on are the highest level. This generates a series of weightings for how to blend the two images — taking detail from one and tone, color, and luminance from the other.
  1. The final image is generated.

This new update also reintroduces "Announce with Siri," which allows Siri to read you incoming messages unprompted if you're wearing AirPods. The feature was originally scheduled to arrive with iOS 13, but Apple removed it during beta testing. If all goes well, it appears the feature will reach the public with the general release of iOS 13.2.

You'll also see an updated animation for the new volume HUD; a Privacy settings page for the forthcoming Research app; an update to the AirPlay settings page, now "AirPlay & Handoff," which features a "Handoff to HomePod" option; your compatible, connected Bluetooth device will now appear in the volume slider in Control Center; new HomeKit grouping options; and evidence of new in-ear AirPods.

Apple's release notes can also be helpful for understanding more about the beta software. They are, however, strangely short this time around:

iOS & iPadOS 13.2 Beta Release Notes

Update your apps to use new features, and test your apps against API changes

Overview

  • The iOS & iPadOS 13.2 SDK provides support for developing apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS & iPadOS 13.2. The SDK comes bundled with Xcode 11 available from the Mac App Store. For information on the compatibility requirements for Xcode 11, see Xcode 11 Release Notes.

iCloud - Resolved Issues

  • Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented deletion of the Recovered Files folder in On My iPad/iPhone. (54785368)

Siri - Resolved Issues

  • The supportsOnDeviceRecognition property now returns the correct value. (47822242)

To update your iPhone to iOS 13.2 dev beta 1, you will need to be a registered developer. You can use the restore image for your iPhone available in the Developer portal (install with iTunes or Finder) or install the configuration profile, then update over the air. If you already have the profile installed on your iPhone, head over to Settings –> General –> Software Update to start installing the latest beta build, or wait until it installs automatically if "Automatic Updates" is enabled.

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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