When it comes to the camera hardware in iOS devices, the rear cam has always had better resolution. Though in recent times, the differences between the software features enabled for the rear and front camera have started coming to the fore as well. HDR mode has been around in iOS for a long time and even after that, the stock Camera app has been updated with a few new features. When you are using the front-facing camera though, the app is pretty much like it has been since the days of iOS 4. There are no options, and you can’t do anything other than shooting your photo. It has taken a while, but a developer over at the Cydia store has finally come up with a solution in Front HDR, which brings the front-facing camera almost at par with its rear counterpart. The tweak adds the familiar Camera app options menu that houses the HDR, panorama and Grid options. The panorama mode doesn’t work, but the other two options are fully functional.
Once Front HDR has been installed, you don’t have to manually set up anything. The tweak doesn’t have a menu or SpringBoard icon of its own, and works automatically. To see Front HDR in action, just launch the Camera app and enter front-facing mode. Instead of a blank top bar, you should now see ‘Options’ written in the middle. As mentioned already, the Panorama option isn’t functional and should be ignored for now, but Grid and HDR can be enabled. The result of the HDR version is pretty good even from the front camera, and we highly recommend the tweak if you want to capture an image in extreme lighting conditions.
The developer should consider getting rid of the dummy ‘Panorama’ button from the options list, but there is something even more urgent that should be done before that. In our experience, Front HDR suffers from a strange problem – if you choose to keep both the original and HDR versions of your photos when using the front camera, the original image comes out extremely distorted. To avoid seeing this version, head to the Settings app and toggle off ‘Keep Normal Photo’ under ‘Photos & Camera’. This might not be a permanent solution to the problem but until the tweak gets updated, this is all we can suggest.
Front HDR is a free tweak, and works with iOS 6. The device compatibility list includes iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod touch 5G. Although you can enable HDR mode on iPod touch 4G, the tweak doesn’t work for it. So, if you own a compatible device and want to improve your front camera experience, head to the BigBoss repo of the Cydia store and give Front HDR a shot.