Google says retouched selfies can make people feel bad about how they actually look, so it’s changing the way these photos are handled with the latest phones. For Pixel 4A, 4A 5G and 5, it will disable face retouching from Camera by default. This will soon update the phones to re-label retouching settings and avoid any condemnation of words, such as the use of the word “beauty”. If someone wants to use facial retouching effects, Google will describe in detail how the settings are applied and how they affect the photo.
“When you don’t know that a filter is applied to your camera or photo, photos can negatively affect your well-being,”; Google says in its blog about the changes and the reasons for them. It’s unclear if and when older Pixel devices can get this update, but the company recommends that all camera apps turn off filters and retouching by default.
Last year, Isaac Reynolds, Pixel’s chief product manager, spoke Facet about how his team handles filters and face retouching. He noted that the team worked with wedding photographers to find the right balance of retouching, so people still look like themselves, but their best version.
The company has for the first time included a default selfie retouch with Pixel 4, so it’s interesting to see how the team has already changed that decision. At the time, Google seemed to know that people valued accuracy, but also wanted to look its best in photos. Now, he seems to be more concerned with informing those who take selfies of what’s going on with their photos and why.