Artistic defocusing? SO hot right now. Nokia, HTC, and most recently Google have all been delivering products aimed at producing the sort of “bokeh” effect you only used to be able to achieve with careful selection of lenses and aperture control. Sony’s taken a swing at this, too, but its background defocus app has only been available on a select minority of recent handsets. This week Sony does something about that, adding the app to the Play Store.
Now, just because this has hit the Play Store doesn’t mean that it’s open season on it: you still won’t be able to install it on non-Sony devices. But even with that limitation, this move delivers multiple benefits, including easier access to future updates and availability for additional Xperia models; phone like the Z1 and Z1 Compact can now take advantage of the app, which has previously been unavailable to them.
Unlike Google’s effort, Sony’s app doesn’t require raising and lowering your phone to generate parallax info. Instead, it takes a pair of photos with different focal lengths, then lets you choose your subject and control the amount of blur you want to see in the background. Results look pretty good when everything’s working well, but we understand the app can sometimes be a little finicky to get the precise effect you’re looking for. If you’ve got a compatible Xperia model, give it a download and try for yourself.