Microsoft has released a new photo app designed to help you feel better about your selfies. It’s a simple service, really: You snap a photo or choose one from your iPhone’s camera roll and then process it right in the app.
Just like the editing features in Instagram, the app, called Microsoft Selfie, gives you all the editing options you need to present your best face to the world. In fact, Microsoft has described the app as a “selfie and portrait enhancement application,” which utilizes an algorithm to make your photo appear like it was taken by a professional.
Although the name points to its application for selfies, and the app does a great job reducing the graininess often found in images produced with the front-facing camera, you can also use Microsoft Selfie with the rear camera. This means that you can utilize the app’s technology to make basically any photo you have that much better.
The app takes into account factors like your age, gender, and skin tone, as well as the lighting and any background noise, before making simple changes to your photo. Users have 13 different filters they can choose from to do the post-processing work, but only one can be used at any given time. If you want to apply additional filters, you can save the file, reopen it again in the app, and continue editing it using another filter. Once you’re done processing an image, the file is stored on your phone.
Microsoft Selfie does not contain any connections to social networks like Instagram, Google Photos, Facebook, or Twitter, so if you’re looking to share a photo, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way.
On the surface, Microsoft creating a selfie enhancement app for iPhone (and not for Windows Phone) is just bizarre. Does the world really need another selfie app? However, it’s a good way to showcase the potential of the company’s machine learning, artificial intelligence, and image recognition technologies. We saw a bit of this earlier in 2015, with Project Oxford and Microsoft’s face APIs that debuted in April.
No word on whether this will come to Android phones.