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iOS 12.1: Does it Fix the iPhone’s Beautygate Issue?

Before Apple released iOS 12.1, the company promised the new software would fix an issue with the front-facing camera found in the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the software is out, has Apple delivered on its promise?

Ahead of the software’s release, several people complained about the iPhone possibly smoothing out skin—to such a degree that people dubbed the problem “Beautygate,” in reference to smartphones that use software to smooth out skin imperfections.

Apple said it wasn’t using any software to artificially smooth skin. Rather, the company admitted that its software wasn’t working properly, resulting in selfies that looked smoother than they should.

In a statement to The Verge a few weeks ago, Apple said its Smart HDR was picking the wrong base for HDR processing.

“Instead of choosing a frame with a short shutter speed to freeze motion and preserve detail, it would sometimes choose a frame with longer shutter speed,” The Verge wrote.

To see if iOS 12.1 really makes a difference, we took a few selfies around the office using an iPhone XS running iOS 12.0.1 and an iPhone XS running iOS 12.1. While there is a difference in quality, the changes aren’t that drastic—at least in the examples we snapped.

Apple’s newest update also includes over 70 new emoji, Group FaceTime, and dual SIM support, among other new features.

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