Apple Planning to Fix 'BeautyGate' Skin-Smoothing Camera Effect in iOS 12.1 Update

This morning reviews for Apple's iPhone XR were released, and among them were The Verge's impressions on the new smartphone. In a section of the review that focuses on the iPhone XR's camera, the site notes that Apple is planning to address the issue of "BeautyGate" in the upcoming iOS 12.1 update, which is currently being tested by developers and public beta testers.

BeautyGate began when iPhone XS and XS Max users started noting that selfies captured on the new smartphones were applying a skin-smoothing effect or "beauty filter," resulting in photos that looked quite different from those taken on the iPhone X or earlier iPhones. All three of Apple's new 2018 iPhones have a 12-megapixel rear-facing wide-angle camera lens (while the iPhone XS and XS Max have an additional 12-megapixel telephoto lens), as well as the exact same front-facing TrueDepth camera system.

iphonexrcolors1
With all of the same tech inside of it, iPhone XR is now facing reports of skin-smoothing camera effects in its first reviews, which caused The Verge to ask Apple about the issue. In essence, Apple's new iPhones are taking multiple pictures at varying exposure levels, requiring noise reduction that creates a smoothing effect over the entire image, not just specifically on skin tones. While this "Smart HDR" feature brings out more details in highlights and shadows, when faces show up in an image they sometimes appear tuned and artificial. This is what Apple is aiming to fix:

Apple told me that the forthcoming iOS 12.1 update, currently in public beta, will address the issue of the front camera appearing to smooth out skin by picking a sharper base frame for Smart HDR, but I wasn’t able to test it yet.

As the BeautyGate scandal grew, earlier in the month YouTuber Jonathan Morrison challenged user's perception of skin-smoothing effects in a video. Before the video, he shared two selfies on Instagram that he claimed were taken on Google Pixel 2's Portrait Mode, and then asked for his viewers' opinions. Many responded by touting the Pixel 2's quality, pointing out that it didn't need a beauty filter like iPhone XS. A few days later, Morrison revealed that both selfies were captured on an iPhone XS Max, not a Google Pixel 2. In the reveal video, he stated, "I just wanted it to be a little bit of a lesson out there: don't let a preconceived notion or headline skew your judgement."

The iPhone XR is getting solid reviews from numerous media outlets today, which tout the smartphone's lengthy battery life, performance and speed, quality Liquid Retina LCD display, and colorful paint jobs. As The Verge points out in its review, the real difference between the iPhone XR and XS are the 6.1-inch LCD screen vs the 5.8-inch OLED screen: "The real question for iPhone buyers is whether the high-res OLED display on the XS is worth $250 more than the XR. Because otherwise, the XR offers almost everything you’d want in a 2018 phone."

Related Roundups: iPhone XS, iPhone XR

Top Rated Comments

Abazigal Avatar
28 months ago
It was never a “gate”.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BvizioN Avatar
28 months ago

It was never a “gate”.

But how would you get clicks without slapping the word "gate"?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeyondtheTech Avatar
28 months ago
Early results are promising.

Attachment Image
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
28 months ago
Managed to get an alpha of 12.1



OH, GOD, I can't handle the truth! Downgrading to iOS 12…

Attachment Image
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
28 months ago

LOL. Thousand of XS users complained about and Apple did nothing, but hey! NOW the XR users are complaining...let's go fix it for them. I can just hope that the XR had connectivity problems as well :D

Um, but there aren't any Xr users at this point (it doesn't come out till Friday). And for the software change to go out with iOS 12.1, which is in its final testing before release, this came from feedback of Xs users. So, nice to see Apple being responsive to their users on this.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wvayens Avatar
28 months ago
I hardly think this classifies as a "scandal".....
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple top apps games 2020

Apple Shares Top 20 Most Downloaded Games and Apps of 2020

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:38 pm PST by
Alongside picks for the top iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps and games of the year, Apple today shared charts featuring the Top Games of 2020 and the Top Apps of 2020, revealing the most popular free and paid apps and games during the year. Among Us! was the top free game of 2020, followed by Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, and Subway Surfers. Ink Inc. Tattoo Drawing was the number four free app,...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Developer Delves Into Reasons Why Apple's M1 Chip is So Fast

Monday November 30, 2020 1:57 pm PST by
Apple's M1 chip is the fastest chip that Apple has ever released in a Mac based on single-core CPU benchmark scores, and it beats out many high-end Intel Macs when it comes to multi-core performance. Developer Erik Engheim recently shared a deep dive into the M1 chip, exploring the reasons why Apple's new processor is so much faster than the Intel chips that it replaces. First and foremost,...
maxresdefault

Italy Fines Apple $12 Million for Misleading iPhone Water Resistance Claims

Monday November 30, 2020 3:10 am PST by
Apple has been slapped with a 10 million euro ($12 million) fine by Italy's antitrust watchdog for unfair commercial practices related to its iPhone marketing in the country. One of the Apple ads cited in the Italian watchdog's proceedings (credit: setteBIT) Specifically, Apple is being charged for misleading claims in promotional messages about how deep and how long iPhones can be submerged...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Apple Cyber Monday 2020: Discounts on iPads, Macs, AirPods, and More [Updated]

Monday November 30, 2020 6:25 am PST by
Today is Cyber Monday, a shopping event that sees many of the same deals from Black Friday bleed over into a new week, along with a few brand new offers on everything from Apple products to related accessories. In this post we'll highlight the best online discounts that you can find on Apple devices today. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Mini-LED M1 MacBook Pro and Mini-LED iPad Pro Models Coming First Half of 2021

Monday November 30, 2020 2:24 am PST by
Apple is widely reported to be embracing mini-LED display backlighting technology for some products next year, and a new report today by DigiTimes has named several of Apple's partners in the supply chain that are expected to benefit from the switch. According to the report, Apple is set to launch its first mini-LED iPad Pro in the first quarter of 2021 and mass produce mini-LED MacBook Pro...
iphone8guide b

iOS 14.2 Quietly Added FaceTime 1080p Support to iPhone 8 and Later Models

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:21 am PST by
Back in early November, Apple released iOS 14.2 and announced with it a slew of new features for iPhones, but one thing it didn't mention was the apparent addition of support for 1080p FaceTime calls on iPhone 8 and later devices. The little-known fact was discovered by MacMagazine, which found that Apple quietly updated the specs pages for devices like iPhone XR shortly after the release of ...
Mac Mini 2018

Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Monday November 30, 2020 9:01 pm PST by
As AWS re:Invent kicks off, Amazon Web Services today announced new Mac instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing AWS customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time. Amazon says that the new feature extends the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers as those creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple...
best apps of 2020

Wakeout! Named Apple's Best App of 2020, While Zoom Earns the Title for Best iPad App

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:26 pm PST by
Apple today shared its App Store Best of 2020 winners, highlighting its picks for the top iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps and games released over the course of the year. Apple's iPhone App of the Year award went to Wakeout!, which is a family friendly exercise and movement app that encourages people to complete easy exercises while at home. Apple's iPad App of the Year was Zoom, which soared in...
magsafe duo charger

MagSafe Duo Charger for iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Now Available for Purchase

Tuesday December 1, 2020 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the MagSafe Duo Charger that was announced alongside the new iPhone 12 models back in October. Priced at $129, the MagSafe Duo offers a MagSafe charging puck for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, along with an Apple Watch charger. Though the accessory was announced in October and was listed as coming soon, it was not clear when it would launch. Orders...
imac 5k 2014 video

Apple Adds First iMac Models With Retina 5K Display to Vintage Products List

Tuesday December 1, 2020 8:09 am PST by
The first iMac with a Retina 5K display is one of several iMac models that have been added to Apple's vintage products list this week. In the past, vintage Apple products were no longer eligible for repairs at the Genius Bar or at Apple Authorized Service Providers, but Apple began offering extended repairs of select vintage products in 2018. Many of the iMac models listed below will likely...