The handsets boast a number of changes and improvements compared to last year's Pixel 4, with one particular difference coming to light that Google is implementing in order to prioritise the mental wellbeing of its smartphone users.
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Google's latest blog post (opens in new tab) details the about-face it's done in the camera app, which explains that face retouching filters have been on by default, but in an effort to be more responsible when it comes to people's wellbeing, this will no longer be the case with the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5.
"We set out to better understand the effect filtered selfies might have on people’s wellbeing—especially when filters are on by default.
"We conducted multiple studies and spoke with child and mental health experts from around the world, and found that when you’re not aware that a camera or photo app has applied a filter, the photos can negatively impact mental wellbeing.
"These default filters can quietly set a beauty standard that some people compare themselves against."
The feature is still readily available in the app for those who want to use it, and you'll be presented with more info on the how the settings are applied and the changes they make to your selfies.
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But it doesn't stop there. Google is also avoiding using language and iconography pertaining to 'beauty' for these filters, opting for more "value-neutral" terms, so that you're not presented with the idea that these filters are making you more attractive.
It stresses that these changes allow you to "decide what retouching means to you."
These new descriptors will roll out in a future update, but Google hasn't put a date on it yet. There are more changes to support wellbeing on the horizon, so we'll find out what other meaningful changes the tech giant has lined up going forward.
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