Last week, Apple released the first build of the upcoming HomePod’s firmware, allowing curious developers to unpack the code and learn a few additional details about the smart speaker. Now, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has discovered code that seemingly confirms that the upcoming iPhone will support face unlock…
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
Smith explains that the code indicates the existence of infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit, which is the framework responsible for Touch ID. The code further suggests that Apple’s face unlock feature will be able to detect partially occluded face and faces from various angles. The codename for the project Pearl ID.
Face unlock has been a long rumored feature of the iPhone 8, with some even indicating it could replace Touch ID altogether. While some have expressed skepticism as to just how secure face unlock could be, Apple’s framework seems to indicate a decent level of security, including checks against things such as images of a face and 3D models of faces.
Moving on from face ID, the HomePod code also seemingly confirms the design of the iPhone 8. While this is a bit harder to verify according to Smith, the above render was hidden in the HomePod firmware. Specifically, the image was buried in the framework that handles authentication for Apple Pay.
The image was in the form of a core animation archive file, which is how Apple stores vector images so they can be displayed in the user interface in any resolution. The code also shows the iPhone 8 codename as “D22.”
While certainly things could change between now and the time the iPhone 8 is unveiled, the HomePod firmware has offered a good and likely accurate look at some of the device’s features and design. Perhaps most interestingly, the iPhone 8 image shows how Apple will handle the top ‘notch’ cutout for the front-facing camera and other sensors. This had been a point of contention for some as renders had depicted the ‘notch’ design in several different forms.
What do you think of the details offered up by the HomePod firmware? Are you happy with the front design Apple has seemingly picked? Let us know in the comments.
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