Apple iOS 12.1 To Fix Beautygate Selfie Photo Controversy On iPhone XS

“Beautygate” is about to become a thing of the past. Apple promises to eliminate the notorious skin smoothing bug with iOS 12.1. The update will improve selfies on their latest crop of smartphones -- the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

Many users noticed that their skin appeared to have been “smoothed” and warmed-up in their selfie shots when they used their front-facing camera. Some users enjoyed the effect while others were downright insulted. Apple was accused of trying to make their users look more appealing, even though it has claimed in the past that it does not use beautification filters.

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Apple looked into the issue about a month ago and discovered that a bug in its Smart HDR system was to blame. An HDR photo is created by combining multiple different exposures into a single frame. In smartphones, three shots are typically taken to expose for highlights, midtones, and shadows. The software then combines the part of each frame that is best exposed to create an image with a higher dynamic range.

Apple’s Smart HDR system was choosing the wrong base frame for HDR processing. The system was favoring longer shutter speeds over shorter shutter speeds. Shorter shutter speeds are typically used to capture more detail. Longer shutter speeds are much more difficult to control and can lead to camera shake and “blurred” images. The iPhone front-facing cameras are using a longer shutter speed around the face region and causing the skin of their subjects to appear brighter and smoother. The iOS 12.1 update promises to pick the sharpest base frame for HDR processing.

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The iOS 12.1 update will also include a few new functionalities. Apple promises that Group FaceTime -- which allows users to video chat with up to 32 people at once -- will be included with the update. Group FaceTime was initially supposed to ship with iOS 12, but it was delayed. The update is also expected to include official support for dual SIM functionality for the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

iOS 12.1 is expected to drop by the end of the month. Apple will also announce a whole slew of new products and updates at an October 30th event in Brooklyn, New York. Until the update drops, our skin will look a little smoother and a little pinker in our Instagram selfies.