KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 ― Uh oh, it looks like we might have a new #gate on our hands as early iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max users are reporting a very unusual bug with their device’s camera. It, well, jiggle jiggles when you use the camera in third party applications.
Reports have been coming in from a number of users across platforms like Twitter and TikTok which show the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max smartphones’ camera vibrate uncontrollably when you launch the camera function in apps like TikTok and Snapchat. What makes it even scarier is the sound it makes when it shakes because it really sounds like the optical image stabilisation system (sensor shift, etc.) is hitting the walls of its camera housing, creating a painful buzzing sound.
You can hear this clearly in both this TikTok and this video from YouTuber Luke Miani. In the latter, you can even see the whole camera wig out. Honestly, it sounds kind of terrifying especially when you can also hear the phone’s mic pick it up in this tweet from user @Obeiidd. Interestingly, reports indicate that this problem doesn’t exist when you use it with the iPhone’s native camera app.
Why is this happening?
Well, until Apple officially publishes a statement, it’s pretty much all guesswork so take these with a pinch of salt. One of the major new things about iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max is that they both come with upgraded 48MP camera sensors (finally) and second generation Sensor Shift image stabilisation technology.
This new camera sensor is something that’s a pretty big departure from the old iPhone’s traditional 12MP camera systems, and you get a bunch of nice features like pixel binning as well as a fancy new 2x telephoto mode that’s basically just digital zooming.
All of these, including the now 48MP ProRAW capture, are all exciting new features because it means more resolution, more detail, and theoretically better low light performance. However, it looks like with an entirely new camera system, you might run into a couple of entirely new camera issues. In this case, it appears to be compatibility with whatever existing software is being used to allow third-party applications to use the iPhone’s camera.
A longstanding with Android smartphones is that when you use them in applications like Snapchat or Instagram or TikTok, the quality of the images that you get through those third party app cameras just aren’t as good as an iPhone’s. Even though Android phone cameras are definitely as good as iPhone cameras, when it comes to these social media apps, you won’t get the same experience.
That’s because it’s very difficult for app developers to properly optimise their apps to work with every single Android smartphone’s native camera application. That means these app developers have to find the lowest common denominator — something that is guaranteed to “work” (kind of) on any Android device. Some suggest that this is through screen recording what your camera viewfinder sees which sounds just awful. After all, we know that most of what makes a phone’s camera good is down to the image processing and not the hardware.
iPhone never had that problem because there were only a handful of iPhone devices and they all run pretty much the same software. But the thing with the iPhone 14 Pro series is that it’s got a whole new camera as well as a brand new “Photonic Engine” that’s designed to improve image quality. There are also features like Action Mode for extreme video stabilisation in high-action sequences.
All of these are new features, both from a software and hardware standpoint, so there are a myriad of ways these could cause compatibility issues with existing social media applications. At this point there’s no word on what the main problem is or how it could be solved, but for all of you who have pre-ordered this smartphone, your best bet is to hope that this is a software issue that can be fixed with an update.