Apple iPhone #BeautyGate (skin-smoothing selfie) is indeed a bug and will be fixed in iOS 12.1

If you’ve just got an iPhone XS or XS Max, you’ll probably realise how good your selfie is – i.e, your skin has less complexion and somewhat smoother. While that sounds ok, some have got it to the extreme, making men looks like porcelain dolls.

It’s not like Apple to do skin smoothing or beautification like this, but thankfully there is now an official statement from Apple that it is indeed a bug and will be fixed.

Selfie with BeautyGate
Selfie on the iPhone XS Max (pre-iOS 12.1)

I first became aware of this when I was watching The Verge’s iPhone XR review last night. Nilay mentioned in the video that Apple has acknowledged this as a bug (finally) and also given word that it will be fixed in the upcoming iOS 12.1 update.

Some reviewers had suspected that the face smoothing was probably caused by iPhone XS and XR Smart HDR feature when taking photos and looks like they were right.

According to The Verge as to why this bug happens:

“Smart HDR was choosing the wrong base frame for HDR processing when you took a selfie. 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 front camera also does not have optical image stabilization, so it takes blurrier shots at the same shutter speed as the rear, stabilized camera. The result is a loss of detail that looks like smoothing on the front camera.”

So, there you go. iOS 12.1 should be out real soon (this week, or the following) and if you can’t wait for your skins to show aging as they should have been in your selfies, just wait a little bit longer.

About Michael Aulia

Owner of, Michael is a tech enthusiast who blends a love for gadgets with a passion for gaming. With insightful articles and professional reviews, he navigates the digital landscape, offering expertise on consumer electronics and gaming trends.

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