FaceApp is the viral application of recent days

FaceApp is the viral application of recent days: millions of people use it among other things to age their face in an incredibly realistic way. In this dossier we tell you everything about this application, from the download links, to the alternatives through a tutorial, a dive into its intrinsic functioning and the controversy around supposed risks for privacy.

FaceApp is a free iOS and Android application specializing in advanced photo filters and other Face Swaps . In recent weeks, it is especially the aging filter that is talking about him: the striking photos of aged friends with a lot of realism have multiplied in recent days. Fans of the app even launched the #FaceAppChallenge on Twitter.

Some have even attempted to age photos of young celebrities and compare them with the real photos of their faces decades later. Every time it’s the same surprise – the result is incredibly believable, so much so that it’s almost as if the app has the ability to show you the future!

Developed by Russian publisher Wireless Labs, FaceApp has been around since January 2017. And it has already had its small share of scandals: in April 2017, for example, a filter to make yourself awesome was removed after accusations of racism – the filter systematically brightened dark-skinned people . A few months later, in August, it was the turn of ethnic filters making it possible to transform into “Indian” or “Asian” to cause controversy.

Closer to home, the app’s sudden vitality raises concerns about potential privacy risks. Risks which nevertheless prove to be unjustified.

How to install FaceApp (Google Play, App Store and APK)

To install FaceApp, all you need to do is download the app from the Google Play Store or the App Store.To go faster, we offer the direct links Google Play Store, App Store and APKMirror:

FaceApp on Google Play Store

FaceApp on App Store

Face App on APKMirror

How to age your face with FaceApp

For that :

  • Open FaceApp
  • When opening for the first time, allow access to your photos
  • Choose the age icon at the bottom
  • Choose the Old filter
  • Apply to save photo

FaceApp: why it’s so realistic

The result of FaceApp’s aging filter is amazing. Some have even had fun aging photos of young celebrities to check the relevance of the morphological changes made by this application. Wireless Labs has specialized in this kind of morphing since 2017, relying on machine learning and artificial intelligence. Concretely, the designers of the application fed a model with photos of young people and photos of people of a certain age with all types of faces and hair implants.

After a certain amount of data, and if the data are sufficiently varied, the model “knows” how to imitate aging, whatever your face. What gives an additional touch of realism is undoubtedly that the filter also relies on the small defects of the face.

FaceApp: the alternatives

Among the alternatives to FaceApp including an aging filter, we can mention these two applications:

  • AgingBooth
  • MSQRD

FaceApp: should you worry about your data?

With such a spotlight in recent weeks, and a sometimes sulphurous past, Internet users have quickly noticed that the conditions of use of the application, especially in terms of personal data, are astonishing. Access to user photos is for example described as “irrevocable”. At the risk of making certain sites like 9to5Mac say that users unknowingly send all the photos from their smartphones to servers based in Russia. This article, like others, has since been extensively amended by tests from security researchers and a press release from Wireless Labs.

Their conclusion is that there does not seem to be any real reason for concern . First, because as the French security researcher Elliot Alderson shows by “A + B” in a series of tweets, the application only sends to servers the photo that you choose to edit and only the latter. The application does not otherwise appear to make any unreasonable request, or threaten user privacy.

In addition, FaceApp explains in a press release that these photos are generally deleted within 48 hours, that the application accepts individual requests to delete their personal data, that they are not linked to identification data, and that in all cases no data is shared with third parties or sold. In addition, the firm specifies“even if the heart of our R&D team is based in Russia, user data is not transferred to Russia”.

To drive the point home, the firm concludes its press release:“We would like to comment on one of the most common concerns: all the photos in the gallery would be uploaded to our servers after the user authorizes access to the photos […] We don’t do that. We only upload a photo for editing. You can check this with any network sniffing tool available on the internet ”.