Google has placed a focus on digital wellbeing in recent years, adding features into Android that help you understand how much you're using your phone throughout the day and better control that usage. Now Google is extending its digital wellbeing efforts to selfies.
Starting with the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5, Google is turning off face retouching features in its camera app by default. A future update will give you "value-free, descriptive icons and labels" for face retouching options plus more info on what changes they make to your image.
Google explains that it performed research on how filtered selfies might affect people's wellbeing. When people aren't aware that a camera app has applied a filter to their face, the photos can negatively affect their mental wellbeing and set a beauty standard that people compare themselves against.
It's unclear when or if Google will bring these camera app changes to other Pixel devices.
In addition to helping promote better mental health, Google's decision to not automatically apply any filters to selfies can help to give users more control over their images. Now Pixel owners know that the selfies that they're taking are untouched and if they do decide to make any edits, all of the changes that they're making are their own.