## The Art of Disappearing: APPLE's New Photo Magic at WWDC

At Apple’s WWDC this year, there was a small feature that attracted a lot of attention, indicating a new era for iPhone photography. Amid all the flashy AI improvements outlined at WWDC, Apple introduced an ‘edit’ feature within a photo editor that appears to be brazenly lifting some ideas from Android (the LEGO-coded Google’s Magic Eraser comes to mind). Goodbye, iPhone PhotoKit; hello photo-editing gold rush.

### The Magic Behind APPLE's Latest Feature

There were so many announcements during Apple’s WWDC presentation that it is hard to keep up, though one of the most important is the new photo editor. The editing tool is designed to fit easily into the Photos app, so when you take a photo of someone getting out of the way, to take the picture of your family holiday at the beach house, it can magically erase them. Apple’s tool is apparently a direct answer to Google’s Magic Eraser tool but it is better integrated in the user’s workflow.

### A Closer Look at APPLE's Photo Wizardry

It’s like waving a magic wand at your photos Previously available only in pro-photo apps such as Photoshop, this kind of feature is now being made available to the masses. Using AI technologies, the tool figures out what’s not wanted in the photo – a person in a photo gallery, or a power line against a sunset – and swaps those pixels out for something more interesting. The content in the picture is then filled in with pixels that more closely match those around them, just like with Photoshop’s Content Aware Fill, but far more easily accessible to the typical photo editor. While features like this have generally been more hit-or-miss than useful, especially with complex backgrounds, Apple promises that this will be a tool that users will want to try.

### APPLE's AI-Powered Photo Editor: A Step Ahead

By making the AI-powered version of Apple’s photo editor available from the start on almost all Apple devices, the company is signalling a direction for AI usage in everyday life. Just as Siri and Apple Maps were rolled out on multiple devices over the years, the announcement that this new feature initially comes only to the iPhone 15 Pro series, as well as on iPads and Macs with chips that are at least the M1 demonstrates that the feature will come to almost all other future Apple devices.

### Ensuring Quality and Consistency

The fact that Apple is taking the same slow burn approach with its new photo editor as it does with all its products is well known by now: release only when the product is ready, and when it’s not just good, but great. With Apple setting the bar so high with its slogan, ‘Amazing. Is this how it was supposed to be?’, its foray into AI is sure to raise the bar on what good photo editing should be. People will be comparing all rivals’ AI photo editors with what Apple delivers, just as we do now with its benchmarks on elegance and speed of photo organisation and editing.

### Every iPhone's New Best Friend

Its arrival will be a huge help to iPhoneographers, who will no longer be limited to removing an unflattering photobomber or banishing some unsightly debris from an otherwise perfect shot. Deleting people or things from images is often a clumsy affair, involving the labour-intensive ballet of cropping, copying and pasting, and rubbing out the remnants in Photoshop. But Apple claims its upcoming tool will let users easily delete and re-insert bits from the photos – and make the process as natural as applying a filter.

### Towards the Future: APPLE's Vision for Photographic Excellence

And at this exact moment, as Apple ushers in this new era of photography, this very company seems like it’s still working hard to see so much further. So hard to create new technology that actually matters to our lives. The intelligent photo editor is just the beginning.

### Understanding APPLE

Apple Inc is, at heart, an innovation-driven enterprise that creates and designs superior products which integrate the form and functionality of technology into our lives. The company has a history of innovation from its founding years and remains a technologically innovative leader in the electronic products landscape. From the Macintosh in the mid-1980s through the iPhone and iPad – and now the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus – it has stayed true to its ethos of creating products that are not just tools, but tools designed to function as a seamless extension of the self. This latest cycle in photography history is another example of Apple’s technological democratisation efforts – bringing to mass market powerful technology – while confirming its stature as a technological culture leader.

### Conclusion

To summarise, it’s clear from Apple’s AI-powered photo editor demo at WWDC that the company is setting its sights further ahead, and is committed to enhancing the user experience by combining complex technology with intuitively usable design. Apple is refusing to simply meet user expectations; it’s raising them by demonstrating what our devices can do to improve our lives. It also seems clear that Apple will continue to innovate when it comes to the evolution of personal technology.

Jun 11, 2024
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