The latest third beta of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 7 mobile operating system includes some hidden code that suggests the next iPhone model -- most probably an “iPhone 5S” -- will be able to record videos at 120 frames per second (FPS).
The news comes from 9to5Mac, the Apple-oriented technology news website, saying a new camera feature called “Mogul” mode that was discovered in the iOS 7 Beta 3 will allow the next iPhone’s camera to record video at a much faster rate to help users create slow-motion clips.
“According to our analysis and testing of the code, 'Mogul' is a feature in development that allows the iPhone to capture video at an exceptionally fast and precise rate,” the 9to5Mac report said.
“Specifically, our testing indicates that the feature can allow the iPhone to record video at a rate of 120 frames per second (FPS). The resolution at which this 120FPS video could be recorded at, however, is currently unclear.”
By comparison, in iOS 6, developers are unable to capture raw video at anything faster than 30 FPS.
The upcoming iPhone 5S is expected to be a minor upgrade with the same design as the current iPhone 5. However, the new handset is likely to sport a stronger processor, an improved camera, and a stand-out feature that always turns out to be a unique selling point for the device.
The iPhone 3GS in 2009 had video-recording capability, while the iPhone 4S in 2011 had Siri to differentiate it from the earlier iterations.
And now in 2013, when Apple is fighting hard with rivals like Samsung and Google for market share, the company is expected to incorporate yet another “wow factor” into its flagship smartphone. The 120FPS recording capability for slow-motion videos seems to fit well into this equation.
The videos, captured at 120FPS, will offer crisp detail when playing back in slow motion. Such functionality is found in many action cameras, such as the GoPro Hero3.
The testing by 9to5Mac also revealed that Mogul would not function on the iPhone 5, as the device lacks the necessary hardware support, which suggests that the new feature will be an exclusive trait for a future iPhone only.
If the iPhone 5S, expected to be released in September, features the 120FPS video-recording capability, it will help Apple stay on par with new Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Camera, both of which offer slow-motion video capturing functionality at 120FPS.
Here’s a slow-motion video, captured using a Samsung Galaxy S4:
Apple recently touted in an ad that the iPhone is the most-used camera in the world. Therefore, it will not be a surprise if the company adds more features to leverage the iPhone’s growing popularity as a photography device.
The slow-motion video capture is the newest feature added to the list of some other camera-related traits, which are likely to be included in the iPhone 5S. Rumors have it that the next iPhone will have a 12-megapixel camera, dual LED flash and improved capabilities for taking pictures at night.