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Apple iOS 10.1 now available, bringing Portrait mode to iPhone 7 Plus

The depth of field effect is still in beta, though.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're an iPhone 7 Plus owner, one of the most interesting camera features is finally available to try.

iOS 10.1 has arrived for download. On a whole, 10.1 offers a lot of small bug fixes. But it also brings Portrait mode to the iPhone 7 Plus camera. The depth of field effect turns photos of people taken at a certain range into pictures that look, in some ways, like a shot taken with a DSLR.

How to update:
Go to Settings > General > Software Update and begin the download. Make sure you have at least a couple of gigabytes free on your phone's storage. Remember to back up your iPhone via iCloud or your computer first, and keep your iPhone plugged in and charging to be safe. Or, update via iTunes.

The effect is still in beta, according to Apple, but it's added as a new mode in Apple's Camera app on the iPhone. I've been using it over the weekend, and it has its quirks. The "bokeh" effect uses both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses to simulate the blurred-background effect common in DSLR cameras. Check out our guide on getting the most out of Portrait mode.

Now playing: Watch this: Master the bokeh effect on the iPhone 7 Plus

You'll see right away that Portrait mode zooms in closer than the normal wide-angle lens. It also requires that the subject be a certain distance from the phone in order for it to work, and the lighting can't be too dim.

But when it works, it blurs the background to create a depth-of-field effect that feels similar to bokeh. Portrait mode is best used with people or animals, not inanimate objects.

The Camera app saves a version of the photo with and without the Portrait mode effect applied by default. You have to be in Portrait mode to make the effect work: it can't be applied to other photos afterwards.