Enterprising coders have picked apart some of Apple's latest firmware code to reveal details about the upcoming iPhone 8.
Buried in the firmware coming out of Cupertino itself are details about an iPhone without a bezel or physical home button and the addition of an infra-red scanner that should add new features and extra layers of security to the world's most popular smartphone.
If you watched Apple’s recent WWDC keynote, you're aware that their answer to the Amazon Alexa bluetooth speaker, HomePod, is inbound later this year. In an effort to make sure developers are up to speed on the new home peripheral, Apple released their HomePod firmware early.
Buried in that firmware (and found by sleuthing devs) are details about the upcoming iPhone 8, including a screen without a bezel or a physical home button and a new biometric infra-red scanner that would add an extra layer of security to your identity-touting smartphone.
Whether that means retinal scanning or just facial scanning (or both) remains to be seen. In terms of features, these hardware upgrades have code that indicate things like tap-to-wake, motion detection and, of course, a virtual home button to replace the omitted physical one.
Neither of these hardware changes are completely unexpected since Samsung, Apple’s most direct competition in the phone space, have also implemented both a bezel-less design and infra-red scanner in their latest Galaxy phone, the S8.
Samsung is expected to make these features standards in their entire phone lineup by also including it in the expected Galaxy Note 8 which should be announced at their Unpacked event later this month. So there’s no wonder Apple would be following suit.
The iPhone 8 will certainly benefit from these new design cues, boasting a much bigger screen as a result of ditching the bezel and layering additional security on top of their lockscreen and TouchID sensor which are both integral to the security of the phone. The extra features, which seem gimmicky at the moment, might end up being make or break for Apple's future domination in the mobile market when it finally reaches consumers hands.
New features aside, security is a priority for Apple right now since the FBI recently broken into their hardware. With big plans on the horizon for ApplePay, which is setting its sights on Venmo and Paypal as an easier and safer alternative, this makes sense. We imagine they'll be touting the new face-scanning features when Tim Cook takes the stage later this year.
As always, you’ll have to stay tuned to Apple’s expected September iPhone announcement to get confirmation of all the full details about the newest iPhone but, rare as it may be, we’re expecting this round of rumors to be reliable.