The iPhones XS and XS Max were released. And, to maintain the tradition, some controversies arose that “fight among themselves” to see which one gains more notoriety and stands out as the #gate of the time.
Just to remember, in the past we've had #antennagate, #bendgate, #chipgate, #peelgate to name a few. Now, this year, a connectivity problem on the new iPhones has already made some people cry out that we are facing a strong candidate to assume the crown of the #gate of 2018. But I have the slight impression that it will not be him
Lewis Hilsenteger, from Unbox Therapy, has quite a history. It was he who started the #bendgate controversy by showing that iPhones 6/6 Plus warped more easily than some other devices. And those who follow the Apple world know very well what happened: Apple reinforced the area that bent and, in the iPhones 6s / 6s Plus, changed the material of the phone's structure to a stronger and more resistant aluminum. Later, we even found out that Apple knew of this problem involving iPhones 6/6 Plus. Anyway, a problem of the past; let's focus on the current one.
In a new video published this week, Hilsenteger did not feel at all comfortable with the photos taken with the front camera of the iPhone XS Max that he is testing. Although he found the XS Max a hell of a device, he basically concluded that Apple is using a kind of "Beauty Mode" (something like “Beautifying Mode”) automatic on selfies taken with the new iPhones.
In fact, when analyzing the results obtained on the XS and XS Max iPhones, there is no denying that there is something strange there. In addition to the warmer temperature, it seems that Apple is applying some kind of effect on people's skin in order to hide imperfections and make everything more homogeneous. The result is somewhat like light makeup or even a "plasticized skin" effect.
As iOS indicates absolutely nothing in this regard (if there is any kind of effect being applied), Hilsenteger decided to test whether the Smart HDR feature (Smart HDR) was responsible for this. Nothing done; despite changing the result a little bit (after all, we are talking about a feature that supposedly improves the photo), the selfies continued with the “beautifying” effect.
Hilsenteger is not alone on #beautygate; there are several reports by (social networks, Reddit, etc.) questioning Apple's attitude. The point: there is no problem with creating and making available a Beauty Mode for selfies. As Hilsenteger himself pointed out in his video, there is an entire market (mainly in Asia) that loves this type of resource.
There are two questions here:
- Why did Apple implement this without making it clear that it is applying some kind of effect or performing more aggressive post-processing on photos taken with the front camera?
- If there is an effect or aggressive post-processing, why didn’t it provide an option to turn off this feature?
Looking further at the photos we took for our iPhone XS front camera video, you can really see that there is a big difference in this regard.
Apple manifests itself
In contact with Abdul Dremali (photographer who published the image below), Apple reported that he is aware of the problem and that he is working on a fix for this aggressive processing carried out on the photos with the front camera of the iPhone XS.
The statement implies that this is something accomplished by the Neural Engine of the new iPhones, that is, that we are not facing a deliberate option from Ma. However, we will only know when that correction comes. Does she just fix the problem (going back to using more realistic processing) or will we see an option of “beautifying” in the camera settings?