Microsoft has done an excellent job of putting its apps and services where users are lately. Since Satya Nadella took over at CEO in early 2014, the company has released great (and free) Office apps for iOS and Android, leveraged its purchase of Accompli to turn Outlook into probably the best mobile email app out there and even released Cortana to other platforms. Now, the company is turning to a far more crucial service that every smartphone user will surely appreciate -- making your selfies better.
A new iPhone app, appropriately titled "Microsoft Selfie," promises to help improve your front-facing camera game by automatically adjusting exposure and clearing up your horrible skin imperfections (at least that's what it seemed to do for me). It also reduces noise and takes into account a variety of factors like age, gender, skin tone and lighting when making its adjustments.
The results, at least on my end, were a little startling -- it smoothed out my face to the point where I was a bit uncomfortable with the results. Fortunately, there's a slider that you can use to adjust exactly how much processing the app will apply to the final photo before saving it to your camera roll. Naturally, there are also some filters down below, and you can also apply all of these changes to existing photos in your library as well as stuff you shoot on the fly.
Selfies are getting more and more popular, so it's not a bad idea to make them look better as well as easier to capture -- to that end, the app would be more useful if it launched directly into the front-facing camera view rather than presenting you with options to either take a photo or select a photo. But other than that, this seemingly silly and somewhat insignificant app could actually find a place on the home screen of selfie-obsessed iPhone users. If you want to take it for a spin, download it now from iTunes.