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Smartphone camera flashes are notoriously weak compared to dedicated models, but what if you could fire them from several handsets at once? Since none of us have the millisecond timing needed to do it manually, Apple has filed a patent application to let any number of iOS (or other devices with a flash) fill in the light automatically. It'd work by using a master device as the camera, which would trigger slave devices positioned around the subject to fire their flashes when the shutter is opened. A test image would first be taken and analyzed by the software, which would then remotely adjust the intensity of the slave flashes to produce the final photo. The filing allows for virtually any device with a sensor to act as the capture device and a broad variety of illumination devices, including dedicated lights, smartphones, tablets or camera flashes -- though we imagine Apple would concentrate on its own products. If you're already planning to use friend #1 for a kicker light, friend #2 as an eye-light and friend #3 as a hair light on that next outing, please remember it's still just an application for now.

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Apple patent application teams up multiple smartphone flashes for better lighting