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Apple’s latest beta fixes macro mode confusion for iPhone 13 Pro

Apple’s latest beta fixes macro mode confusion for iPhone 13 Pro


Finally, a button

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Apple’s latest iOS 15.2 beta is making the iPhone 13 Pro’s macro mode simple by adding a button to let you turn it on and off (via 9to5Mac). The icon, which looks like a little flower, pops up whenever you’re close enough to an object to take a macro photo and lets you easily switch between having Auto Macro mode on and off without having to go into settings.

A video from ZolloTech shows how the feature currently works in iOS 15.2 beta 2: if you have Auto Macro turned off, the button will appear when you get close to something. Tapping it seems to basically turn Auto Macro back on, and your phone will switch into macro mode. Tapping the button again turns Auto Macro off and switches you back to the regular camera.

Left: The button toggled to macro mode. Right: Macro mode toggled off.

When the iPhone 13 launched, some reviewers said the automatic transition to macro mode could be jarring, as the phone was switching lenses without showing that the change had happened in the UI (the lens indicator doesn’t change from 1x to 0.5x as it normally would). Apple fixed it by introducing a toggle (Settings > Camera > Auto Macro) that let you turn off the automatic switching, but that made things a little complicated. Just switching to the ultra-wide camera and getting close to your subject would get you different results than macro mode would — to fully replicate the macro effect, you’d also have to manually zoom in to 0.9x.

This change makes things simple

The change in 15.2 beta 2 makes things simple. If you don’t want to think about it, you can leave Auto Macro on, and your iPhone 13 Pro will take a macro picture if you’re close enough to an object. If you’d prefer finer control, or find the switch jarring, you can turn Auto Macro off but still have easy access to the mode if you want it through the button that will pop up when the phone thinks you’re trying to take a macro picture.

While this is probably how the system should’ve worked from the start, it’s good to see that it’s finally making its way on to phones. Hopefully this fix will stay the same through the beta process and be part of the 15.2 final release.