iOS 12.1 will improve selfies on iPhone XS and XR

iOS 12.1 will improve selfies on iPhone XS and XR


iPhone XR
Selfie snaps will get better.
Photo: Apple

Apple is about to make “Beautygate” a thing of the past. The company soon will improve iPhone XS selfies by eliminating the skin-smoothing feature that annoyed many users by making their narcissistic snaps unrealistically beautiful.

The iPhone remains the most popular camera in the world, a title earned by delivering excellent performance year after year. And Apple’s latest iPhone lineup boasts the best cameras the company ever made. But some people think they’re almost too perfect — especially when it comes to snapping selfies with the front-facing shooter.


Users quickly noticed after the iPhone XS and XS Max arrived that the devices are smoothing their skin in selfie shots. Blemishes get blurred out so subjects’ complexions appear cleaner, and an added pinkish hue makes the images look warmer.

Some like this effect — it certainly makes us look a little prettier — but others find it ugly and unnatural. Many even hit out at Apple for trying to make its users look more appealing. But it turns out that Beautygate was just a bug.

After a report claimed Apple was “looking into the situation” late last month, Apple has now confirmed to The Verge that it will eliminate the “bug” in its Smart HDR system with iOS 12.1.

iOS 12.1 will fix iPhone selfie smoothing

“Apple told me that iOS 12.1 will fix a bug in its Smart HDR camera system that resulted in smoother-looking photos taken by the front camera on the iPhone XS and XR,” reports Nilay Patel.

What causes the Beautygate issue, Patel explains, is the Smart HDR system choosing the wrong base frame for HDR processing when a selfie is snapped. Rather than choosing a frame with a short shutter speed to preserve detail, it is choosing frames with a longer shutter speed.

“This should all be fixed in iOS 12.1, which will pick the sharpest base frame for the HDR merge when taking selfies,” the report adds.

iOS 12.1 is now in public beta testing — Apple rolled out a fifth release Monday — so it shouldn’t be too long before the final version rolls out.


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