iOS 17 just stole one of the best Pixel camera features

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Now that the iOS 17 beta is open to the public, there’s been a lot of deep diving to see what kind of upgrades the software has to offer. Specifically the upgrades Apple hasn’t told us about yet, but have the potential to be incredibly useful. Like the new camera level, to help you take perfectly angled photos.

If that feature sounds familiar, it’s because it’s been available on Google Pixel phones for the past few years — though other Android phones haven’t really caught up. The camera level is on by default and helps you see exactly how straight your phone is when you’re taking a picture. It also features a virtual horizon that’s designed to help you keep your phone as upright as possible.

It’s a feature I use a lot, and can prove incredibly useful at times. It’s also not too distracting, which is perfect for those shots where you really can’t be bothered top make sure everything is set up perfectly. And now it looks like iPhone owners will be able to enjoy a version of their own.

The iOS 17 beta’s level feature isn’t on by default, but anyone running the beta should be able to switch it on pretty quickly. Simply head to the Settings menu, and scroll down to the Camera app. Once there scroll right down to the bottom, and you’ll see the Level toggle right below the grid.  

ios 17 beta camera level toggle

(Image credit: Future)

In general the feature works much the same way as the level on the Pixel, with a white line appearing on screen as your phone edges close to being completely straight — turning amber when you get there. However it’s not quite the same as the Pixel Camera level.

iOS 17’s camera level isn’t always visible, and only appears as your phone gets closer to being totally straight. It also disappears rather quickly, either when the line turns amber or if you tilt the phone a little bit too much. 

ios 17 camera level in action

(Image credit: Future)

Unlike Google, which lets you tilt up to 45 degrees before disappearing, the iPhone’s level vanishes a lot sooner. Honestly, I’d much rather Apple let the level linger a little bit longer, otherwise it makes you wonder whether the feature might have stopped working. This is beta software, after all, and that is always a very real possibility.

There's also only a single level showing how straight your phone is, with no virtual horizon Pixel owners get to enjoy. But, if I’m being totally honest, I’m not totally convinced this is a bad thing.

Of course this isn’t the only new feature coming to iOS 17. Siri can now read out web content for you, Visual Lookup now works on videos, and Standby mode turns your phone into a smart screen whenever it’s charging

But all this is only scratching the surface of what iOS 17 has to offer, so be sure to check out our iOS 17 hub to see all the best ones. And if you don’t have the beta yet, but would like to, make sure to check out our guide on how to install the iOS 17 public beta.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • Astrodad
    Um, Samsung has had this feature for a very long time...
  • yourhuckleberry
    I mean, iOS is just a rip off wish version of someone else's work so. Nothing original about ifonies