A new iPhone 14 rumor has come along, and it's pointed toward a feature that you might think iPhones already have - autofocus. Yes, for the first time since the iPhone 11, it sounds like Apple might upgrade the front-facing camera on its smartphones.
This comes from prolific Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (opens in new tab), who says that the upcoming family of iPhones is getting two key upgrades to the front-facing camera. These are set to be a bigger aperture on the lens, as well as the addition of autofocus which we've already mentioned.
Kuo says the f-stop will drop from f/2.2 to f/1.9, a shift that will increase the aperture a little bit. As a result, more light will reach the sensor, making pictures a little lighter - plus, it allows for a shallower depth of field.
iPhones haven't had autofocus in the past, though they've had software solutions that do basically the same thing. However, hardware autofocus will make for a more convenient and natural effect, and will also work better for video calling and live streaming apps, according to Kuo.
(1/2)The front camera of four new iPhone 14 models in 2H22 would likely upgrade to AF (autofocus) & about f/1.9 aperture (vs. iPhone 13's FF (fixed-focus) and f/2.2).April 19, 2022
Analysis: a necessary improvement
It's somewhat surprising that Apple doesn't already offer traditional autofocus for its iPhone selfie cameras, since it's a useful feature that many phone makers use a lot, but it's not vital for front-facing cameras as you'll generally be holding your phone at the same distance from your face every time you take a snap.
Plus, the depth-sensing effect creates natural background blur in Portrait mode, which makes autofocus less necessary.
So autofocus coming to iPhone front-facing cameras will be useful for some people, but it's not going to lead to a dramatic improvement in selfie quality for users. The improved lens will have more of an effect for that, though again aperture isn't a massive change.