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, 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.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.