Steven Troughton-Smith discovered that portrait mode lighting effects can be edited on an iPhone 7 Plus after using a hex editor on an exported photo to enable the feature:
Just to add insult to injury, if you AirDrop that photo back to the iPhone 7 Plus now it shows the Portrait Lighting UI, and lets you change mode. So Portrait Lighting is 100% an artificial software limitation. 7 Plus photos can have it, 7 Plus can do it.
My understanding is that these effects aren’t enabled on iPhone 7 Plus because performance was really slow at capture time. It really does require the A11 Bionic chip for adequate performance live in the camera. And Apple decided against shipping it as a feature for 7 Plus that could only be applied in post, because that felt like half a feature. So I’ve heard.
What I don’t know is why the new lighting effects are not available when you use an iPhone X or 8 Plus to edit a portrait mode photo that was taken using an iPhone 7 Plus. This should be possible.
★ Monday, 20 November 2017