If you recently bought the new iPhone XS or the iPhone XS Max and clicked a selfie then you would have observed how the results tend to be far from intended. Since the launch, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have been found to heavily soften the selfie images. Those coming from previous iPhones found the result to be much soften than what Apple’s software has managed in the past.
While some referred to this issue as ‘Beautygate’ as a reference to Samsung’s beautification features, Apple seems to be preparing a fix. Apple has confirmed to The Verge that the softened images captured by iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max is due to a bug in the smart HDR algorithm used in these new cameras. The iPhone maker confirms iOS 12.1 update will fix the bug, resulting in less smoothing of selfies shot on the iPhone.
At the launch of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR last month, Apple described its smart HDR feature, which uses a buffer to capture multiple images and fuses them for an image with maximum details, as a radical evolution in smartphone photography. But, it has now revealed that this very algorithm was at fault while choosing the base frame needed to process HDR images.
Apple explains that instead of choosing a frame with a short shutter speed to freeze motion and preserve detail, the algorithm would choose a frame with longer shutter speed. This led to smoother skin tone and the lack of optical image stabilization only led to lower image quality.
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Apple says the issue will be resolved when the iOS 12.1 update is rolled out. The update should change smart HDR to pick the best frame with perfect details without affecting the result. Apple is already testing iOS 12.1 in public beta and it is expected to become publicly available soon.