Popular iPhone and iPad camera app Halide today released version 2.5, which come with a major new feature that enables macro mode for all iPhone models.
Called Neural Macro, this mode can be accessed in the app through the manual focus mode. Once enabled, the app will automatically select the lens on your iPhone that has the closest focusing distance.
To get a closer crop of the subject, Neural Macro in Halide automatically applies a 2x digital zoom. Since this would normally result in loss in image quality, Halide uses the neural engine on iPhone 8 and above to run its trained neural network that upscales and restores lost detail on the image. This works in the 2x and also the 3x mode.
This results in an image that has the closeup appearance and detail of a macro lens but without losing image fidelity thanks to the the neural network upscaling the image. With this mode, you can get 4K resolution JPEG files.
The cool thing is that the 2x/3x crop with upscaling is only an edit applied to the image. If you wish to go back to the original uncropped, unedited image, then you can just go to Photos > Edit and hit Restore.
Of course, this is on all iPhones older than the iPhone 13 Pro. On the iPhone 13 Pro, Halide can tap into the native macro mode functionality of the ultra-wide lens and also apply the Neural Macro feature to get even better macro images than what you’d get from the default Camera app. You also get manual control of the macro mode unlike the default app that can only enable or disable the macro mode automatically.
Halide 2.5 is a free update to existing Halide II subscribers.