Trying to pin down the precise features of the upcoming iPhone has been difficult of late. We all expect a standard “S” model iPhone 7 and & 7 Plus that won’t be different from last year’s, but we also expect a high-end model. Probably, based on a tweet from developer Steve Troughton-Smith, that at least one of the models that will have face unlock. And the iPhone will have a bezel-less screen that wraps around the speaker and cameras at the top.
Troughton-Smith and other developers have examined the code inside the Apple HomePod, which contains most of the code base for iPhones inside it. Apple accidentally pushed the firmware for the HomePod out. From that very code, we have learned a bit about how the LED lights on the top of the device may work, but it gives us an opportunity to learn about what might be coming to the next iPhones. To witness:
I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere.
There are so many lines of code for “BKFaceDetect” here, where the “BK” refers to “Biometric Kit.” Apple loves to use the word “Kit” for its developer tools, behold. There is also references to an infrared camera, which is used to detect your face, even in the dark. Bloomberg reports that Apple would use an infrared camera for 3D face scanning earlier this month— but we are not confirmed whether it will come to all of upcoming iPhones.
Additionally, the code also apparently contains this image:
Similar images have been seen before, but they were only photos of a paper insert showing that how to remove the SIM card tray, and thus were easily faked. But this image appears to be right in the HomePod’s code, that makes it more likely to be real.
Its screen is very likely to go almost edge-to-edge. Interestingly, it also appears to be extended 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 all around the sensor are features we have already seen on Android phones — Samsung’s Galaxy and the (as-yet-unreleased) Essential Phone. So Apple is not the first to implement these features.
Where will the TouchID appear? We do not yet fully know the answer to that very question, but it looks like we now know the basic look of it and that it will support unlocking by scanning your pretty face.