Google says retouched selfies can make people feel uncomfortable about their looks, so it’s changing the way it handles these photos with its newer phones. For Pixel 4A, 4A 5G and 5, face retouching will be disabled by default from the Camera app. It will soon update the phones to relabble the retouch options and avoid any kind of judgment, such as using the word “beauty”. If anyone wants to use face retouching effects, Google will detail how the settings are applied and how they affect the photo.
“When you’re not aware that a camera or photo app has a filter applied, photos can negatively impact mental well-being,”
Last year, Isaac Reynolds, the lead product manager of the Pixel camera, chatted with The Verge on how her team handles face filters and retouching. He said the team has worked with wedding photographers to find the right balance in retouching, so people still look like themselves but their best version.
The company turned on selfie retouching by default for the first time with the Pixel 4, so it’s interesting to see the team reversing that decision already. At the time, it seemed like Google knew that people liked accuracy, but also wanted to look their best in photos. Now, it seems to be more concerned with keeping selfie shoppers informed of what’s happening to their photos and why.