Apple’s iPhone 8 Software Leak

Apple’s iPhone 8 is touted to be the one of the most important phones for the CA-based technology giant. It will not only mark the 10th anniversary of the iconic phone but is also expected to inculcate some of the most ground-breaking design changes the phone has seen since its inception. Moreover, the lukewarm response of fans to the iPhone 7 as well as different rumors and reports have pushed up anticipation to peak levels and one can hardly wait to see what radical technology will be offered in the new iPhone 8.

That wait seems to be over as a new leak, dug out by developers Guilhermo Rambo and Steve Troughton-Smith from Apple’s HomePod firmware, has seemingly confirmed the much-discussed rumor that the iPhone will not have an in-screen fingerprint sensor, apart from other details. The firmware leak has proved to be a goldmine of information regarding details of the upcoming iPhone 8, which have been succinctly explained below:

All-Screen Design

The most significant change in the iPhone 8 will be the complete overhaul of the front aesthetics. According to details revealed by the Homepod firmware, the design of the phone shows a screen reaching from the top to the bottom of the device with small bezels all around. There is a notch in the top of the screen that will most likely be used for the earpiece speaker, sensors and front-facing camera.

Also, the status bar is expected to be white and integrate with the color of the rest of the screen, instead of black as rumored previously.

No Physical Home Button

Apple’s long-featuring physical home button, which has been ever present in the phone since its initial launch in 2007, will finally be done away with, as per code discovered by Rambo. There will be a virtual home button instead (probably called the home indicator) that will be hidden during specific activities. We all know that Apple already has a virtual home button in place, which is mostly used as a replacement for the physical home button that can become non-functional due to wear and tear.

In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor Will Also Be Missing

Patent applications in the past have revealed that Apple has been working on a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that would function from below the screen, and which could be used for authenticating payments and to lock/unlock the device. A similar technology was expected to be included in the Samsung Galaxy S8, when technology company Qualcomm announced it had developed an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that could work through a display, thick glass, metal and even under water. For the iPhone 8, it seems that such a technology is highly unlikely this year, as per the leaked code.

Infra-Red Facial Recognition

It is likely that Apple will have a new face recognition feature codenamed ‘Pearl ID’ as part of its Biometric Kit and will use an infrared-based system that will be somewhat similar to the Hello facial recognition used in Microsoft Surface computers. According to code revealed by the Firmware, the technology, purportedly called ‘Face ID’, will also be used to confirm purchases made with Apple Pay, the company’s contactless smartphone payment system.

New SmartCam System

From the world of Kodak cameras to the digital revolution and the advent of smartphone cameras and selfies, this is one field that has constantly evolved over a period of years. The next stage of camera development is computational photography in which the input image of a camera lens is processed and enhanced by advanced algorithms to create a better image.

This can be seen in Google’s HDR+ system for the Pixel and is used to some extent in the Apple iPhone7 Plus as well. For iPhone 8 and possibly entire iOS 11, a SmartCam system will be probably used that will tune camera settings based on the scene it detects. For instance, some scenes mentioned in the code are “baby”, “bright stage”, “document”, “fireworks”, “foliage”, “pet”, “sky”, “snow”, “sport”, “sun rise and sunset” and “point light source”.

Augmented Reality Photography

Apple’s much hyped push into augmented reality is also reflected in the HomePod firmware. There are references to a depth-sensing front-facing camera and part of the sensing system that will be probably used for face recognition. The sensing system will likely create new camera effects and tricks, including something known as the “ARFaceAnchor”.

Further code inspection revealed references such as expression detection, tracking the position and shape of the mouth, which could probably also mean AR modifications that could be applied to faces, like big lips or huge comedy eyes. These features are already popular on Snapchat so it remains to be seen what innovation Apple can bring to attract users to its in-house feature instead of using the Snapchat app.

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