Apple’s iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have been receiving plaudits for the quality of the photos that they are able to take, but they’re also in the middle of a new furor that while likely to blow over, does have the potential to sour things somewhat. We’re talking about the discovery that photos taken with the front-facing camera on Apple’s new flagships appear to be adding some sort of “beauty mode ” filter, softening the image considerably.
The issue arises when images are taken with an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max using the front-facing camera and a number of users have tried to take the same image with the new phones as well as an older iPhone X. The differences in the images are fairly obvious, with skin appearing noticeably smoother on images taken on new iPhones.
This is something that phones from many other companies have been found to do, including Samsung and Huawei, with some allowing users to deactivate the filter at will. That does not appear to be the case here, and it is clear that the filter is not being applied as part of an iOS 12 update, either. That means it’s specific to the new iPhones, which is particularly odd, and it may also suggest that this is a bug rather than a feature.
If that is indeed the case, we’d expect Apple to set about fixing it in a future update.
In fact, given the amount of noise this is generating online, it’s possible Apple will undo it, or at least add a switch, even if the filter is intentional.
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