A few days ago, Apple released iOS 15 Beta 4, along with betas for iPadOS 15 and macOS Monterey. At first glance, the biggest change came to the reverse its course in terms of the planned Safari redesign. However, it seems that there’s a lot more going on in iOS 15 Beta 4 than we originally thought.
In the iOS Beta subreddit, one user found that an image taken of a field with the sun on the right side had changed. In the original image, the sun appears to be a bit brighter, but if you look on the left side of the picture, the dreaded green dot from lens flare appears. But in the second image, the sun has been dimmed down a bit, and the green dot is gone completely. Here’s their description of what potentially happened:
So I’ve noticed something that I haven’t seen reported elsewhere; whilst out and about I took this photo and thought it was ruined / needing to be edited later due to the lens flare (as I’ve done numerous times in previous photos with the iPhone 12 Pro as it’s so prone to lens flares). However, I got home and noticed the lens flare has automatically gone in the original photo despite it being obviously there still in the live photo, meaning the automatic post processing has gotten smart enough to remove lens flares now!
This has left many scratching their heads wondering if this is some unannounced feature that Apple implemented in the latest iOS 15. Something is definitely going on here, with replies in the Reddit thread suggesting that the “feature” only works when pictures of the sun are involved. This means pictures with other lighting sources will remain unaffected, complete with the lens flare.
— Halide (@halidecamera) August 4, 2021
Popular camera app Halide, weighed in on the discovery via Twitter, adding fuel to the fire. From the way everything looks, Apple has indeed improved its image processing With iOS 15 Beta 4. Whether Apple confirms this as a new “feature” remains to be seen.
It’s not just the iPhone 12 Pro
Reading through the Reddit comment threads, it’s apparent that this is not a feature only for the iPhone 12 lineup. Users with the iPhone XS and iPhone 11 are also seeing lens flare removed from various pictures.
What is still unknown at this point is whether this works for devices that are older than the iPhone XS. According to the Apple feature list for iOS 15, many of the newest features (surrounding the camera), are primarily designed for devices running at least the A12 Bionic processor.
Truth be told, it doesn’t matter to me whether there’s a cut-off for this feature or not. Apple is now attempting to “fix” lens flare issues via software. This is a huge win for those of us who love to rely on our iPhones to handle all of our photography.
Let us know if you’ve experienced anything similar after updating to iOS 15 Beta 4.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.