How to Take Better Smartphone Photos with Built-In AI

Whether you’re an aspiring photographer or someone who just enjoys capturing daily moments, your smartphone can be a powerful tool. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in mobile technology, taking stunning photos has never been easier. 

In this week’s tip, we’ll show you a couple tricks on how to use AI on both iPhone and Android devices to make your smartphone pictures even better.

iPhone Users: How to use Photographic Styles, Live Text and Sharpness

iPhone’s latest iOS offers a feature called Photographic Styles on the iPhone 13, iPhone 14 and iPhone SE (3rd generation). Photographic Styles uses advanced AI to personalize your camera’s look and adjust it to your aesthetic preferences. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open the Camera app, and swipe up or tap the triangle to reveal the settings.
  2. Tap on ‘Photographic Styles’.
  3. Choose from the available styles: Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm, or Cool.
  4. Here, you can also customize the tone and warmth of these styles.

iPhone’s AI can also recognize and interact with text in your photos using the Live Text feature. So, you can take a photo of a recipe, a phone number, or an address, and then copy, paste, or call directly from the photo. It’s as simple as pointing your camera, taking the photo, and then tapping on the identified text.

Here’s how:

  1. Open your Camera app, then position the viewfinder so the text appears within the camera frame.
  2. After the yellow frame appears around detected text, tap the icon with a square and three lines, then choose one of these options: Copy Text, Select All, Look Up, Translate, Search the Web, or Share.
  3. Note: You can also touch and hold the text, then use the grab points to select specific text and perform the actions above.
    Tap a quick action at the bottom of the screen to do things like make a phone call, visit a website, start an email, convert currencies, and more.
  4. Tap the same button to return to your Camera app.

For blurry photos, you can open the image in your Photos app, tap edit, and slide your finger across the options until you find the adjustment for sharpness.

But if you’ve intentionally shot your image in Portrait Mode (which provides a blurry background), you can edit the background in your Photos app.

Android Users: Leverage Google Lens, Night Sight and Magic Eraser

Android devices, particularly the latest Pixel models, also have powerful AI-based features. Google Lens is an image recognition technology that can provide information about objects and texts it recognizes in your photos. Here’s how you can use it (note: all instructions below may vary between model, manufacturer and operating system):

  1. Open your Camera app and select ‘Google Lens’.
  2. Point your camera at the subject of your image.
  3. Tap on the object or text on your screen.
  4. You’ll then see results or actions based on what you’ve tapped.

For those who enjoy nighttime photography, Android’s Night Sight uses AI to brighten your photos taken in low-light conditions while preserving the details and colors.

  1. Open your Camera app and scroll to ‘Night Sight’.
  2. Steady your phone and take the photo.
  3. Wait as the AI works its magic – it might take a bit longer than a typical photo.

If you are a Google One subscriber (Pixel owner or not), you can now take advantage of the Magic Eraser feature in Google Photos to remove annoying background distractions, like street signs, power lines and even people. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your smartphone and choose the photo you’d like to edit.
  2. Tap Edit > Tools > Magic Eraser.
  3. You may now see some suggestions based on the built-in AI to remove distractions, or you can swipe your finger across the elements you’d like to remove.

With these features in your hands, you can really improve your photography and create great long-lasting memories. Remember, the best camera is the one you have with you, and with AI, your smartphone’s camera is more powerful than ever. Happy snapping!