There have been reports that the new iPhone XS has an automatic ‘Beauty Mode’ that smooths people’s skin. It is true that the new iPhone XS selfies do look a lot smoother than the previous iPhone X. This could be a ‘beauty mode’ but I doubt it. If Apple did have a deliberate beauty mode they would be crazy not to give users the option to turn it off. I think what is happening is that Apple are using noise smoothing.
Because of limitations in camera sensor technology when you take a photo in low light there is a ‘grain’ that appears in any photo. This happens on digital cameras, old film cameras and also on phone cameras. The less the light the more grain. If you try to take a photo in very low light you may have noticed this. Already phones compensate by raising the brightness of the photo in low light, and smoothing out the image to get rid of this grain.
I think what is happening here is that when the face detection technology detects a face, it sets the brightness of the whole photo to make the face clear. If the face is in low light, the iPhone XS will raise the brightness of the whole picture (hence the shirts etc changing colour in the examples) and it will also therefore apply some smoothing to the entire picture to reduce the grain caused by the low light. This could possibly cause the smoothing of skin blemishes as the phone can’t tell the difference between a skin blemish and the grain caused by low light.
Notice that it only happens on the lower quality ‘selfie’ camera. The main front camera will have a better sensor and so not need so much smoothing.
We all loved the Mac vs PC ads, when Apple were taking the mickey out of PCs. Well the tables have turned with a clever set of ads from Samsung. You can see them all on Samsung’s Youtube channel here, but my favourite is this one…
Dragon 6.0.7 was the most usable and bug free update of version 6 yet, but with the release of High Sierra, some issues have arisen.
It’s been a little over 12 months since version 6 was released and if Nuance’s previous release schedule is anything to go by we should be due for Dragon version 7 very soon. If you are thinking of buying Dragon, you really want to buy at the end of a cycle, not the beginning of a new version. It tends to take about a year for all the bugs to be ironed out and I know of soem people who are still waiting to purchase version 6. Given that Nuance have released a new version in September 2015 and 2016, we might have expected an update by now. It might be advisable to buy soon before version 7 is released.
That said – there have been some issues with High Sierra. If and when those are resolved, that could be a good time to purchase version 6.
Buying guide: Wait a little bit longer for the High Sierra problems to be resolved then purchase version 6 before Nuance release a version 7.
The new purchase price is US$225 (or AU$475), but you can get it on special if you search.
There is no Google Play App for the original Apple TV, but you can still watch Google Play movies using Youtube. When you do a search in Youtube, any movies that you have purchased in Google Play appear in the Youtube search results. So even though Apple TV does not have a Google Play App, you can still purchase or rent a movie from Google and watch it on your Apple TV. Google suggest a way to do it by streaming the movie from your phone, but a far better way is to watch the movie directly in Apple TV via the YouTube app. Here’s how.