Firmware for the upcoming Apple HomePod sent out to developers last week was found to contain code references to an infra-red facial-recognition unlocking feature for another device, code named D22, thought to be the next iPhone. The codes also mention the existence of an infrared camera.
Apple is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its iPhone, and it is expected that the company will bring a great new iPhone 8 this year. We'd usually advise caution when reading any new iPhone 8 rumors, but this information comes directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak. Based on the firmware, the HomePod is essentially a big iPhone with no screen, Troughton-Smith says.
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Analysts have been predicting Apple will try to eliminate the home button and look to release a phone nearly entirely free of the bezel.
Among them, the next version of Apple's iPhone would have infrared-based facial recognition unlocking and an nearly edge-to-edge screen. It is unclear whether this is an additional feature or whether under the screen Touch ID will be included that could be used to unlock the device and access apps. The icon had been among the Apple Pay files and is codenamed "D22".
Apple has released the firmware to developers to allow them to get a sense for the platform before it arrives later this year. Unless, of course, Apple leaks more of its own surprises first. Within the HomePod firmware, a glyph looks very similar to the design rumors for the iPhone 8, with a near bezel-less design and notch cut out over the top of the earpiece for calling and sensors. However, it seems highly unlikely that the company would possibly have trolled its users by an image that confirms the already leaked tips that too at a time when the release could be just a couple of months away.