Back on September 26 Patently Apple posted a report titled “Do the new iPhones have a Secret built-in ‘Beauty Mode” that Artificially Smooths out Selfies?” The report was actually based on feedback from real Apple iPhone customers on Reddit. Unbox Therapy hosted by Lewis Hilsenteger has over 12 million subscribers. It was Apple fans who wrote into Hilsenteger requesting that he take up their complaints because of the size of his reach online.
The video report that we presented last week simply amplified the “problem” with primarily selfies taken on an iPhone XS not representing reality. Hilsenteger presented his own experience comparing selfies that he took on various iPhones that he owns while pointing to a dual photo shot by a complaining Reddit fan as presented below.
Dual Photos from Reddit user
You’d have to be blind or in complete denial to say that the photo taken by a Reddit fan using an iPhone XS is normal, because it’s not. Who wants the blush-like tone effect or filter seen in the selfie photo below?
In the very report by Halide “debunking” the existing camera problem, the reporter presents a dual mode photo of his own as presented below. The photo on the right is from Apple’s iPhone XS. Does that look like a quality shot to you? It looks completely washed out. Is it just my eyes? Of course it’s not.
At one point in the Halide report even Sebastiaan de With states: “The good news is that Apple can also tweak this a bit if people find it too heavy-handed…”
Wasn’t that the very point being made by Unbox Therapy? Of course it was. Hilsenteger thought that Apple could likely fix the photo extremes in a software update or provde users with a simple virtual slider like they do with the new XS camera for controlling the bokeh affect. End of story. Does Hilsenteger put on a show while making a point? Of course, but that doesn’t take away the basic problem he highlighted.
Yet there are those who want to ring the town bell and scream that the Halide report totally debunked the Unbox Therapy report. That’s just Apple fanboy talk.
For iPhone XS users experiencing this issue, it’s real. The majority are likely Apple customers who have enjoyed the iPhone camera for years, especially for selfies.
Getting a site like Unbox Therapy to amplify this apparent problem to well over 12 million subscribers is the name of the game in getting Apple’s attention.
Instead of Apple trying to talk about it in an interview to ease concerns about the issue that has wrong out across the web, Apple appears to be doubling down, ignoring the noise they don’t like and posting a press release about the great photos taken on the iPhone XS by happy customers.
In the big picture, the new XS camera likely delivers fantastic photos with deeper crisper colors. My wife’s iPhone X crushes my iPhone 6 when it comes to quality photos so it’s not hard to believe that the iPhone XS camera builds on that quality. And, for most adults not fixated with selfies, this will never really be an issue to begin with.
However, if you’re younger and in social circles where taking selfies on the fly really does matter, it must be frustrating that the camera isn’t working as well as the iPhone X for selfies.
In the end, those experiencing this issue are simply hoping that a software update will be coming their way soon. Making a lot of noise about it in public is to hopefully have someone at Apple prioritize a fix. Why should customers have to hear from a so-called camera expert that most have never heard of before until today instead of hearing about it directly from Apple that we usually trust? I think it’s reasonable. No one is screaming class action yet. But if the frustration grows, someone will no doubt rush to be the first to file a class action.
Look at how Apple got hit with more than 60 class actions over the iPhone slowdown issue. Apple thought that they’d get the case tossed out in court, but this week U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, largely allowed the consumers to move ahead with damages claims under federal and state computer fraud and privacy laws.
Avoiding this issue in classic Apple style makes some fans wonder if former Apple engineer Darren Eastman has it right about quality control going to hell under Tim Cook. I’m hoping the issue will be dealt with and perhaps even having someone on Apple’s camera team engage the Reddit community calmly and courteously to get this out of the news cycle.
I remember when iFixit brought up the issue that they coined “touch disease.” Apple fan boys attacked iFixit viciously. Yet they were right. I had this happen to my iPhone 6 in July. It’s totally unusable now. So attacking the messenger of a new problem isn’t always the wisest course of action.