Analysis of Instagram’s Android application package (APK) shows the app has a hidden portrait camera mode buried within its code, reports TechCrunch. Peeling open the APK reveals a portrait shutter icon that looks like it would be incorporated into Instagram’s camera, which already has functions like boomerang and superzoom. APKs contain all of an app’s code, including bits relevant to new features that are actively being developed but not yet activated.
Instagram’s unreleased portrait mode could point to a feature that enhances photos through blurred backgrounds (the bokeh effect) and different lighting options, for instance. To access the feature you would presumably launch Instagram’s camera and swipe to the corresponding mode.
The portrait mode was unearthed by Ishan Agarwal, who also found hidden voice and video calling features in Instagram’s code last week. If Instagram does release this mode, it will make it even more attractive to use than rival Snapchat, especially for those who want the option to take more polished photos of themselves. Given that Snapchat’s recent redesign has also been met with confusion and anger, this might be another nail in the coffin if Instagram can make portrait mode straightforward and fun to use.
There’s no word yet on when, or even if, Instagram might launch this new feature.