Getting the early low-down on just what the next iPhone will be packing is usually pretty tricky.
Apple are renowned for only leaking what they want to be leaked.
So far, we reckon that we’ll get a standard ‘S’ model iPhone 7 and 7 Plus – these will be the usual reheated and slightly garnished phones from last year. The excitement, however, surrounds an all-new high-end model.
Latest iPhone details
Thankfully, developer Steve Troughton-Smith shared a Tweet that breaks new ground on the iPhone 8 rumours.
He says that at least one of the upcoming models will have face unlock.
Also, the high-end model (alternately referred to as the iPhone Pro, iPhone 8, or even iPhone X) will have a bezel-less screen that wraps around the speaker and cameras at the top.
Troughton-Smith and other like-minded developers spent loads of time examining the code inside the Apple HomePod, which pretty much contains most of the codebase for iPhones inside it.
Apple accidentally pushed the firmware for the HomePod out yesterday, and a bunch of developers grabbed it.
Thanks to that early code peek we’ve learned a bit about how the LED lights on the top may work, but it also is giving a glimpse as to what might be coming to the next iPhones.
I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere pic.twitter.com/yLsgCx7OTZ
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) 31 July 2017
The code mentions “BKFaceDetect” – BK being likely to point to Apple’s Biometric Kit.
Apple loves using the word Kit for its developer tools.
There’s also references to an infrared camera, which would be used to to detect your face, even in the dark.
And then there was this Tweet!
Me too. New bezel-less form factor as well pic.twitter.com/Y0RrSOk2OO
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) 31 July 2017
This image comes direct from HomePod’s code. This means that it’s more likely to be the real deal than not.
What you see here is a screen that very likely goes almost edge-to-edge.
Interestingly, it also appears to extend to the top around the speaker and sensors that sit at the top of the iPhone.
Both the face unlock and the screen that wraps around the sensor are features we’ve already seen appear on Android phones. Namely, Samsung’s Galaxy and the (as-yet-unreleased) Essential Phone, respectively.
So Apple isn’t the first to implement these features. But, let’s face it, they have been playing catch up recently.
Unfortunately, the “is it/isn’t it?” game of find the TouchID hasn’t been answered yet.
But, at least we kinda know what it will look like. Oh, and the fact that you can open it with your face.