When the iPhone XS and XS Max debuted, some buyers noticed their selfies seemed a little...off.
The front-facing camera appeared to smooth out imperfections, a feature that other phones offer but that Apple never has. Even worse, the beautification can’t be disabled, and the same is true of the new iPhone XR. But a fix is coming for all affected devices.
According to The Verge, Apple has confirmed that iOS 12.1 will address the issue, which is caused by the new iPhones’ Smart HDR feature. How it works: Smart HDR on the front camera shoots multiple frames at varying shutter speeds and occasionally picks one that looks smoother, rather than selecting the sharpest image.
In iOS 12.1, front-facing Smart HDR will default to the sharpest image.
In our own testing on an iPhone XS, we noticed smoothing happened in selfies sometimes, but it didn’t appear to be similar to the beauty filters that you find on some Android phones. Now we know that it isn’t a filter at all.
iOS 12.1 is currently in public beta. If you want a fast fix for the Smart HDR bug, you can enroll in the beta program and install the update on your iPhone before it rolls out to all iOS users. It’s unclear when the update will go public, but we’re expecting it soon.