iOS 13 brings many new features to your current iPhone, but Apple has kept the best ones as exclusive to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, even when the current lineup of iPhone models could have easily supported some of the new features.

In this post, we will do a quick roundup of the new features in iPhone 11 that could have made it to the iOS 13 update if Apple wanted to. Let’s have a look.

Night Mode

The impact of Night Mode on photos taken with iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 camera app has a Night Mode feature that can gracefully light up a photo in the darkest of environment. Apple has done it with the addition of “Semantic Rendering” to their image pipeline, the one where your iPhone takes several shots with different techniques and then combines them into one to produce a detailed image.

Some of the previous iPhone models does this as well, and they could have handled the addition Semantic Rendering just as good as iPhone 11 does.

Apple adds two new layers to the image pipeline that makes it possible for iPhone to take beautiful photos

Next-generation Smart HDR

There’s this next-gen smart HDR as well on the iPhone 11 that is also truly based on the new algorithms introduced in the image pipeline. The addition of “Segmentation Mask” and “Semantic Rendering” makes it possible for the iPhone 11 to detect subjects in an image and relight them with detail, which greatly helps in improving the high dynamic range of an image.

We are using multi-scale tone mapping, so we can treat highlights differently in different parts of the image depending on what’s best for them.


Now this is also purely computational, and Apple could have added it to the iOS 13 update for previous iPhone models. If not the very old ones, at-least last year’s iPhone XS should have received Night Mode and updated Smart HDR image mapping with iOS 13.

An example image taken with iPhone 11 camera to showcase the next-gen Smart HDR feature


Another cool feature in the iPhone 11 camera app is QuickTake. It let’s you instantly record a video by simply holding the shutter button in the Photo mode. You don’t need to switch to the Video mode to start a recording on iPhone 11.

Using QuickTake on iPhone 11 to quickly record a video

Now this is really only a UI update to the camera app that even iPhone 6S could have handled with the iOS 13 update. But Apple has kept it exclusive to the iPhone 11.

Anyway, iOS 13 is out and it doesn’t include the above mentioned features. But here’s to hoping that iOS 14 would include some of these features for the older iPhones, and the WWDC 2020 event be like..

“…with breakthrough innovation we are able to bring Night Mode to iPhone X, XS and XR”

Imagining Apple at WWDC 2020

Until then, let’s just hope if third-party developers could bring Night Mode and improved HDR to previous iPhone models through an app.