When the iPhone Xs was released, there were some users who were surprised at the quality of the front-facing camera where it appeared that their selfies looked better than usual. In some cases this was a good thing, but it led to a conspiracy theory in which some were suspecting that Apple had secretly applied “beauty” filters to the camera.
One developer attempted to debunk the conspiracy by claiming it was the algorithm that Apple uses to process its photos, and it turns out he was sort of right, except that apparently it wasn’t intentional. According to a report from The Verge’s Nilay Patel, Apple has told him that this is a “bug” and that they will be fixing it in iOS 12.1.
According to Apple’s explanation, the problem stems from its Smart HDR function where the feature chose the wrong base from for HDR processing, where it would pick from a frame that had a longer shutter speed (which results in overexposure which can result in photos appearing brighter and lacking details), thus giving users photos that look like they might have had their skin smoothed out.
So for those who feel that this look is unnatural then the good news is that iOS 12.1 should fix it. However for those who are loving their current selfies taken by the iOS camera app, then we guess you’ll need to start looking at third-party apps and filters if you’re hoping to achieve the same effect in the future.