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New iPhone XS & iPhone XR ad sells Portrait Mode's background blur

Apple on Thursday premiered its latest iPhone ad, trumpeting Portrait Mode on both the XS and the XR.

iOS 12 Portrait Mode

The 38-second spot, now on YouTube, consists mostly of a long pullout shot depicting a chaotic scene in New York City with rats, welding sparks, and an argument with a cab driver. It ultimately settles on a woman getting her photo taken, and an unseen shooter using Portrait Mode's simulated bokeh — known as Depth Control — to mask the reality of her surroundings.

The ad is a rare example of Apple selling two iPhone models at the same time. Recent ads have focused either on the XS or the XR.

The XR is Apple's first single-lens device to offer Portrait Mode, using algorithms alone to calculate depth. While the mode has been around since 2016, it was previously limited to iPhones with dual-lens cameras. In that case a telephoto lens captures the subject, while a wide-angle lens snaps the broader scene, using that as a reference point.