Uh oh, 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 wiggles when you use the camera in third-party apps.
Reports have been received from a number of users on platforms such as Twitter and TikTok that show that the camera of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max smartphones vibrates uncontrollably when you launch the camera feature in apps such as TikTok and Snapchat. What makes it even scarier is the sound it makes when it shakes, as it really does seem like the optical image stabilization system (sensor lag, etc.) is hitting the walls of its casing camera, creating a painful hum.
You can hear it clearly both in this TikTok and in this video from YouTuber Luke Miani. In the latter, you can even see the whole wig from the camera. Honestly, that sounds a bit terrifying, especially when you can also hear the phone’s mic picking it up in this tweet from user @Obeiidd. Interestingly, reports indicate that this issue does not exist when using it with the native iPhone camera app.
Why does this happen?
Well, until Apple officially releases a statement, these are pretty much all guesses, so take them with a pinch of salt. One of the main new features of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max is that they both come with improved 48MP camera sensors (finally) and Sensor Shift image stabilization technology second generation.
This new camera sensor is something quite a departure from the traditional 12MP camera systems of the old iPhone, and you get a bunch of cool features like pixel binning as well as a new 2x telephoto mode which is basically a digital zoom.
All of these, including the now 48MP ProRAW capture, are all great new features, as it means more resolution, more detail and, theoretically, better low-light performance. However, it seems that with an entirely new camera system, you might run into a few entirely new camera issues. In this case, it appears to be compatibility with any existing software used to allow third-party apps to use the iPhone camera.
A long tradition with Android smartphones is that when you use them in apps like Snapchat or Instagram or TikTok, the quality of images you get through those third-party app cameras just aren’t as good as a iPhone. Even though Android phone cameras are certainly as good as iPhone cameras, when it comes to these social media apps, you won’t get the same experience.
This is because it is very difficult for app developers to properly optimize their apps to work with the native camera app of every Android smartphone. That means those app developers have to find the lowest common denominator, something that’s guaranteed to “work” (sort of) on any Android device. Some suggest it’s through screen recording of what your camera’s viewfinder sees, which just looks awful. After all, we know that most of the goodness of a phone’s camera is due to image processing, not hardware.
The iPhone never had this problem because there were only a handful of iPhone devices and they all run pretty much the same software. But the problem with the iPhone 14 Pro series is that it has an all-new camera as well as an all-new “photonic engine” designed to improve image quality. There are also features like Action Mode for extreme video stabilization in high action footage.
All of these features are new, both from a software and hardware perspective, so there are myriad ways they could cause compatibility issues with existing social media apps. At this point, it’s unclear what the main problem is or how it might be fixed, but for all of you who pre-ordered this smartphone, your best bet is to hope it’s a software problem that can be solved with an update.
Again, this is largely speculation, so take it with a grain of salt or share with me what you think is the problem. My favorite theory though, is this.