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FaceTime in iOS 13 will magically force eye contact in your video calls

This new trick should make your FaceTime calls more personal.

ios-13-facetime-attention-correcting

FaceTime's new trick makes it look like you're staring into the camera. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Update July 29: As of iOS 13 Beta 5, the Attention Correction feature has been removed from iOS 13 and iPadOS. Continue reading to learn more about the feature and how it worked. If the feature makes it back into iOS 13 and iPadOS prior to its release, we'll update this post. 

FaceTime's video calling is great, except for one thing -- how you have to stare directly into the camera for the person on the other end to feel like you're looking at them. It's only natural to stare in the center of your iPhone, Mac or iPad screen, where your caller's face actually appears. This awkward shifty-eyed shuffle is about to end.

In iOS 13, Apple has added a new FaceTime feature that makes it look like you're locking eyes with the person you're talking to, even if you're staring at your phone's screen and not the camera. The next time you place a FaceTime call, your eyes will look like you're staring at the camera whenever you're staring at the screen (and in turn, the person you're talking to), adding a more personal touch to the call. 

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I've placed a few calls with the new feature, and the family members I talked to had a hard time telling when I was looking at the screen and when I was looking at the camera. It's kind of creepy, but at the same time pretty darn cool. 

Apple calls this Attention Correction, and it's just one of many new features in iOS 13, alongside a new dark mode, a way to block unknown callers and a fancy new typing tool, not to mention a handful of hidden features that are downright fun to use. 

Right now, Attention Correction only works with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max ($1,099 at Amazon), but with iOS 13 still in beta, the neat software trick could make its way to more iPhone models before the official release this fall. You can sign up for the iOS 13 beta if you want to test out Apple's latest wares. 

ios-13-facetime-attention-correction

If you have a compatible device, there's a new setting in FaceTime. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Here's how to turn on Attention Correction on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select FaceTime from the list of options.
  3. Slide the switch next to Attention Correction to the On position.
  4. Exit the Settings app.

We've asked Apple for more information about how the feature works and will update this post when we learn more. 

If you're new to iOS 13, make sure to learn the new method for updating apps, or get acquainted with the new photo editing tools.

Originally published July 23.
Update, July 29: Apple has removed the Attention Correction feature.