Apple’s iPhone is regarded the world over for its camera. One of the impressive things that Apple has managed over the years is the way its default camera app keeps things simple and facilitates people to just click great photos without any fuss. But Microsoft thinks it can do better with its new app Pix. Ironic isn’t it? In fact, it has done better. Its new app, which I’ve been using for the last few hours has proven its mettle in a diverse set of scenarios which leads me to believe it is the best app for iPhone users.
Microsoft Pix is an app which has been developed by the company’s much vaulted Research division which is also responsible for projects like Skype Translator. This new app leverages, Microsoft’s advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The main focus of this app is to enable people to take better images; better than even what the iPhone camera app enables. Pix is able to this by continuously taking pictures when the user hasn’t even clicked on the shutter button and using artificial intelligence, the app is able to recommend the best photo.
More than this, the app is able to draw elements from stills that it ends up discarding, so you end up with the best facets of all images the app has managed to capture in one still.
At dia, we have already tried our hand at the app and the results are testament to what Microsoft has created. Photos are nicer with more contrast, better white balance and generally they are more vibrant.
“If you see it happen and you aren’t already taking pictures, it’s too late, you missed the shot,” said Josh Weisberg, a Microsoft researcher and former team photographer for the Seattle Seahawks in an interview with Recode.
Pix also has its own take on live photos something which Apple has been promoting since the launch of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Microsoft’s app does this kind of a thing in a dynamic manner. The app is able to understand when a live photo is feasible and automatically it starts shooting one. In cases when it is basically a still, then it doesn’t bother taking a live photo.
This is app also integrates technology from Microsoft’s Hyperlapse app which was also developed by the Research division. It not only can take cool time-lapse videos, but also can be used stabilise videos, something which Facebook’s Hyperlase app is also known to do. While testing the app, I found the stabilisation to be quite robust.
Going forward, Microsoft also intends to integrate the beauty mode that it has had in its Selfie app in Pix. Microsoft is also planning to release the app for Android so Google better watch out as it makes quite the tardy default camera app for its Nexus smartphones.
In the last two years, Microsoft has become a powerful app developer for iOS. From its Outlook email app, to OneDrive, to Skype and its Office suite of productivity apps, it has been behind some of the most popular iOS apps. This is another step in the same direction.
This article has been contributed by Sahil Mohan Gupta.
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