Report: Apple adjusting Smart HDR algorithms in iOS 12.1 to address ‘BeautyGate’ complaints

Apple is planning to make some tweaks in iOS 12.1 to its Smart HDR algorithms to address some of the recent concerns that photos taken with newest iPhones were displaying aggressive skin smoothing, resulting in unrealistic photos. The tidbit popped up in The Verge’s review of the iPhone XR, and was reported by 9to5Mac. The adjustments in iOS 12.1 will apply to all of the 2018 iPhone models — the XS, XS Max, and XR, the latter of which is currently afflicted with the same smoothing algorithm as the earlier two models. While Apple has not said anything previously regarding the skin smoothing complaints that many equated as equivalent to a Snapchat-style “beauty filter,” an Apple finally acknowledged to The Verge that they are tacitly responding to these complaints with the iOS 12.1 update, effectively adjusting the Smart HDR algorithm to avoid the loss of detail that resulted from using non-stabilized long-exposure shots that effectively produced a skin smoothing effect when using the front camera.