We already know Apple has a knack for throwing new features in with updates and today we discovered what looks like to be a future (or dropped?) iPhone 3GS feature. We all know and love that slick HDR photo capability on the iPhone 4 and the question has risen as to where HDR photo-taking is for older iPhone models. There have even been some hacks to allow HDR photography on the iPhone 3GS and now it looks like Apple has planned HDR photography for the iPhone 3GS all along.
As you can see in the visual above, there are two HDR icons within the SDK. As labeled, one is for the iPhone 4′s Retina Display, while the other is for an iPhone without a Retina Display. The iPhone 3GS is the only iPhone that is physically (hardware capabilities) able to capture HDR shots so we figure that non-Retina icon is for the 3GS not the original or 3G model. How do we know the other icon is not for the Retina Display? Apple has a very simple labeling process which places an “@2x” on image titles for the Retina Display and places nothing of that sort next to “iphone” on non-retina iPhones.
Also, by just looking at the image’s sharpness, you can tell one is for a much higher resolution screen, in this case the iPhone 4′s Retina Display. The question is no longer, did Apple plan HDR photography for the iPhone 3GS?, or is the iPhone 3GS capable of HDR photography?, but is when is Apple going to add HDR capability to the still-selling iPhone 3GS? On the other hand, HDR photography on the iPhone 3GS could be a feature Apple simply dropped from the public release.