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New Instagram Focus setting creates portrait mode pictures right in the app

  • Instagram is rolling out a new feature to certain Android devices called Instagram Focus.
  • Using Instagram Focus, you can take portrait mode-style images right in the Instagram app.
  • Only Android devices with native portrait mode capabilities will be able to use Instagram Focus.

Back in March, we told you about how a hidden portrait mode setting in Instagram’s code pointed to the possibility of a fully-fledged portrait mode camera in the app. It looks like our assumption was dead on, as today Instagram announced Focus, a portrait mode camera feature for select Android devices.

If you have an Android phone that supports portrait mode (otherwise known as the bokeh effect, where objects in the foreground are more in-focus than objects in the background), you could already use your native camera app to take a shot and then upload that pic to Instagram.

However, with this new Instagram Focus feature, you can take portrait mode images within Instagram itself, avoiding the need to bounce from one app to the other. Of course, the feature only works if you have an Android device that is capable of taking bokeh-style photos.

To use Focus, open up the Instagram camera. At the bottom, you can select different camera modes. Use the selector to choose Focus, which is right between Boomerang and Superzoom. Once you’re in Focus mode, set up your shot; you’ll notice images in the background automatically blur out.

Once you have a shot you like, tap the screen to capture the images, or tap-and-hold to record a video. Then add filters, stickers, text, or whatever you want to your image and before posting it to your feed.

The Focus feature appears in Instagram version 39.0, so you’ll need to make sure you’re on that version before trying out this new camera setting.

Instagram doesn’t list out which Android devices will support Focus, but generally, any device that has a portrait mode feature should work. That includes major flagship devices like the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, the OnePlus 5T, and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, among others.

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