Beautygate: Top camera developer debunks iPhone XS beauty filter

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Beautygate
Some people get better looking with age and some get better looking with the iPhone XS.
Screenshot: Unboxing Therapy/YouTube

Turns out the entire “Beautygate” controversy has been much ado about nothing.

Corners of the internet have been up in arms over a perceived flaw in the iPhone XS camera that makes people in selfies look better than they should. Apple is supposedly looking to “fix” the undisclosed beauty filter, but developers behind one of the best iOS camera apps revealed today that such a filter does not exist.

5 great apps that bust out the bokeh on iPhone XS

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The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
The iPhone XS' new bokeh tool is just the beginning.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS camera is pretty incredible. The device uses its two rear cameras, plus the A12 chip’s Neural Engine, to record such an accurate 3D map of the scene that you can adjust the background blur with a slider. But that depth map is useful for more than just blurring backgrounds. It can be used by other apps to:

  • Add realistic lights to a scene.
  • Choose any subject to be in focus, not just the one you picked when shooting.
  • Add custom background blurs.
  • Remove and replace backgrounds, like movie green-screen effects.

Today we’ll look at the best depth apps for the new iPhone XS and XS Max.

5 essential apps that work beautifully with iOS 12

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Halide can now add custom background blurs in iOS 12.
Halide can now add custom background blurs in iOS 12.
Photo: Halide

iOS 12 gives your favorite apps access to some amazing new abilities. One is integration with the brand-new Siri Shortcuts, which lets you automate your apps, or to interact with them by talking to Siri. But that’s not all. Camera apps now have access to the the depth information from Portrait Mode, so they can do some pretty special effects.

Safari’s password autofill has also been opened up, so apps like Dashlane and 1Password are now available with a single tap. Let’s take a look at the best new iOS 12-ready apps already available.

iOS 12 brings big improvements to iPhone’s Portrait mode

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truedepth iphone x camera portrait lighting
Portrait mode never looked so good on iPhone.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 packs a whole host of significant improvements that Apple didn’t get a chance to showcase during its WWDC preview. One of those, according to one developer, is a greatly-enhanced Portrait mode for compatible iPhone models.

The image below highlights the impressive difference between a Portrait photo taken with iOS 11 and another taken with iOS 12.

Monument Valley 2, Halide, and other awesome apps of the week

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Awesome Apps
'Appy weekend!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Monument Valley 2, an M.C. Escher-inspired mobile gaming masterpiece, is just one of the brilliant titles we’ve picked out for this week’s “Awesome Apps” roundup.

We’ve also got a great task manager, an ancient Egypt-themed strategy game, and a superb camera app. Check out our picks below.

Halide makes manual photography easier than auto

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halide for iPhone
Halide is packed with neat features that are intuitive to use.
Photo: Halide/Cult of Mac

Halide is yet another iPhone camera-replacement app, only this is one you’re going to want to use. Why? because it not only adds extra control to the stock camera app, it is also easier to use than Apple’s built-in app. In addition to being one-handed simple, Halide adds power features like manual focus and RAW capture. It’s quite a feat.