Apple Has Secretly Activated a Feature on Your iPhone, and It’s One You’ll Be Happy About
As attached as we are to our phones, we're also skeptical of the company's who make them thanks to various theories circulating the internet claiming they are recording our conversations at any given time, or they're monitoring us without our knowledge through the camera, even when we're not using the phone. So, when you find out that Apple has activated a function on your phone that's been hiding in there this whole time, it's easy to get a little concerned. However, this is one secret function you might be glad to find out about.
According to Mac Magazine, the latest operating system update, iOS 14.2 includes an unnoted patch that kicks the resolution on your front-facing camera to "Full HD (1080p) resolution" when you're using FaceTime. Mac Magazine does not say whether or not the high def resolution takes effect when you're using the camera with other video conferencing apps which we've all become immensely familiar with this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is a catch. No, it's not scanning your face and uploading it to a global database. It's already done that with all the selfies you've taken (kidding!). The catch is it only kicks into high def when you're connected to a Wi-Fi network or 5G, which you may not have. For whatever reason, it won't work on a 4G connection so you're face won't be as crystal clear to whoever you're talking to if that's what you're connected to.
The update applies to any iPhone from the 8 on up which means Apple installed the camera's ability to go high def, but didn't activate from the start for some reason. According to Ewan Spence with Forbes, this isn't the first time Apple has secretly hidden features inside a product only to wait and activate them later on down the road. As Spence notes, the iPod Touch contained Bluetooth hardware when it was released, but no one knew it until a software update activated some time later.
Whatever their reason for waiting, the point is it's available now, and since we didn't know it was there in the first place, no harm, no foul, I suppose.