The iPhone Xs adjusts depth of field on your photos after the fact

Change that f-stop, baby.

Apple wants you to know that it cares about cameras. Executives spent a significant portion of the company's 2018 iPhone event explaining the tweaks and upgrades to the camera technology in the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max, but it saved the most impressive feature for last. The latest iPhones feature a slider that allows users to adjust the depth of field of a photo after it's taken, in the Photos app.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max won't be the first smartphones to include this type of aperture technology and f-stop software -- the Huawei P20 Pro comes to mind, as does the Focos app -- but they could set a new standard for the industry.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max have dual 12-megapixel cameras (wide-angle and telephoto) on the rear and a 7-megapixel TrueDepth front-facing camera, complete with a sensor that's "twice as fast" as previous models. Working with the fresh A12 Bionic chip and neural engine, the cameras enable facial detection and landmarking as well as smarter photo processing. Apple showed off the new cameras' smart HDR features as well, demonstrating how multiple shots are layered together to create crisper, deeper images.

Apple used to lead the pack when it came to smartphone-camera technology, but in recent years competitors including Google and Samsung have closed the gap and even surpassed the iPhone line in some regards. The Pixel 2 and 2 XL's 12.2-megapixel camera shoots in HDR+ by default, for instance, and the results are impressive.

With an emphasis on smarter software rather than major hardware upgrades, Apple is attempting to retain its smartphone-camera crown with the iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

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