Latest iOS 15 Beta Appears to Automatically Remove Lens Flare From Photos in Certain Conditions

As Apple prepares to launch its upcoming iOS 15 operating system to millions of iPhone users this fall, the latest beta for the update has seemingly improved how users’ iPhones take and process photos in certain lighting conditions.

The camera hardware inside iPhones plays a significant role in the quality of photos that users can take with their devices, but another factor affecting image quality is the ‌iPhone‌’s on-device processing done by the Image Signal Processor, or ISP.

In the latest ‌iOS 15‌ beta, Apple has possibly improved ‌iPhone‌ processing when users take photos in conditions where lens flare is sometimes an unwanted artifact. The change was first brought to light on Reddit and further publicized by the popular ‌iPhone‌ camera app Halide on Twitter.

Two side-by-side photos appear to show that Apple removes lens flare from photos during post-photo processing on the newest beta. The photo below shows the final still shot from a Live Photo without lens flare.

Same image as above, after ‌iPhone‌ processing

This is not a change Apple has promoted or commented on, so it’s not clear what exactly is going on. However, the latest beta could be improving the system that the ‌iPhone‌ uses to detect different indoor and outdoor scenes, and using that information to compensate and remove unwanted lens flare.

One Reddit user points out that they could see noticeable lens flare after taking a photo on their iPhone 12 Pro. When revisiting the image later on in the day, though, they noticed it had automatically been removed from the photo.

So I’ve noticed something that I haven’t seen reported elsewhere; whilst out and about I took this photo and thought it was ruined/needing to be edited later due to the lens flare (as I’ve done numerous times in previous photos with the iPhone 12 Pro as it’s so prone to lens flares). However, I got home and noticed the lens flare has automatically gone in the original photo despite it being obviously there still in the live photo, meaning the automatic post processing has gotten smart enough to remove lens flares now!

‌iOS 15‌ is still in beta testing with developers and public beta testers and won’t be available to all ‌iPhone‌ users until later this fall. Apple is also testing iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15.