iOS 12.1 Addresses Two Major iPhone XS/XR Issues: 'BeautyGate' and Cellular Connectivity

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Apr 12, 2001
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Amid product refreshes for the iPad Pro, Mac mini, and new MacBook Air, Apple today released iOS 12.1, a major update that brings features like eSIM support for the new iPhones, Group FaceTime, real-time Depth Control, and new emoji.

iOS 12.1 also addresses a couple of bugs that iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR users have been facing since the new devices were released. We mentioned these new features in our full iOS 12.1 release post, but we didn't want anyone to miss out on the news that Apple has implemented fixes for two key problems.

Image via Reddit​

Following the launch of the iPhone XS and XS Max, new iPhone owners began complaining about excessive skin smoothing when taking selfies with the two new devices, an issue dubbed "BeautyGate" after people began speculating that Apple was using some kind of beauty filter for the camera.

As it turns out, the new Smart HDR functionality on the iPhone XS, XS Max, and iPhone XR was to blame. Apple said Smart HDR, which is designed to preserve more detail in highlights and shadows by combining multiple images into one, was picking a base frame that wasn't sharp enough, resulting in excessive blur and noise reduction.

In iOS 12.1, Apple introduced a bug fix that chooses a sharper reference frame that should result in less skin smoothing when taking photos. From Apple's release notes:
Fixes an issue where the sharpest reference frame was not always selected in front-facing photos for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
The second issue addressed in today's update relates to LTE. iPhone XS and XS Max users have been complaining of significant LTE connectivity issues after noticing different cellular reception between iPhone XS and older iPhone models.


According to Apple's release notes, today's update introduces unspecified improvements to LTE connectivity.
Improves cellular connectivity for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR
Hopefully customers who were affected with poor cellular connectivity will see some significant improvements following the update to iOS 12.1.

Have you updated? Is your LTE connection better? Do you see less skin smoothing with the front-facing camera? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: iOS 12.1 Addresses Two Major iPhone XS/XR Issues: 'BeautyGate' and Cellular Connectivity
 

Lord Hamsa

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2013
595
414
You know, I have been having occasional issues with my phone randomly losing network connectivity when on LTE... and it probably started around the time iOS 12 dropped. Hadn't put that together until now. Hopefully this fix addresses that.
 

beermode

macrumors member
Apr 18, 2016
54
207
An accidental psychological study with interesting results.
The beauty-gate was an unintentional bug or glitch with noise reduction. Half the posters here thought it was appropriate to defend it as a feature. And they inferred we should just accept we look better with the plastic makeup effect. The same plastic makeup effect that every decent post processor avoids with great effort and lots of study.
Don't worry, the mannequin photo effect will find a new champion somewhere else.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,296
1,961
Nice to see them getting fixes in. Based on the build's comments though I'm pessimistic this will solve all connectivity issues (i.e. may be more than one thing and take multiple fixes to iron things out).
 

bjjp2

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2005
158
343
Perhaps "claims to address" in the title would make more sense for the time being.
 

CPx

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2013
544
261
I didn't have LTE problems so I can't comment on that, but I tested the selfie camera (XS Max) and indeed it looks a lot better.
 
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avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
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I can’t wait to see Phil Schiller stand on stage next year and proudly proclaim that the new Apple custom-designed modems that are likely to be in next year’s iPhones are the “best modems ever put into any phone.” I suspect Apple can’t wait to be done with Intel’s modems. Similar to the Apple Maps debacle, it seems they went with an inferior product this year that sacrificed customer experience in some cases in order to get away from their dependence upon an arch nemesis.
 

NT1440

macrumors G5
May 18, 2008
12,140
13,983
An accidental psychological study with interesting results.
The beauty-gate was an unintentional bug or glitch with noise reduction. Half the posters here thought it was appropriate to defend it as a feature. And they inferred we should just accept we look better with the plastic makeup effect. The same plastic makeup effect that every decent post processor avoids with great effort and lots of study.
Don't worry, the mannequin photo effect will find a new champion somewhere else.
I never understood the outcry myself. From my interactions with social media (I don’t have any accounts) it looks like people just use all those stupid filters nonstop anyway. You’d think the narscissim industry's users would welcome anything that makes them look “better” than reality anyway, seeing as that is apparently the entire point of Facebook, Snapchat, etc...

Now get off my lawn you damn kids.
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Really skeptical the connectivity issues will be fixed with software. Thought the issue was with the redesigned antennas.
Now why did you think that? Did you study FCC filings or did you randomly think Apple just threw a design at the wall carelessly?