In what is likely the biggest internal Apple leak prior to release since the iPhone 4, developers are still uncovering details on the iPhone 8 thanks to a premature firmware release. In this case, Apple accidentally posted the firmware of the unreleased HomePod AI smart speaker to its developer site, after which it was quickly dissected.
The newest details uncovered regarding the iPhone 8 include references in iOS to a split status bar. Previous iPhones have a traditional status bur that runs the length of the top edge of the screen where you’ll find information like the current wireless carrier, signal strength Wi-Fi/Bluetooth status and battery indicator. However, the iPhone 8 has a centrally-located sensor pod for the earpiece and cameras, necessitating that the status bar is split into two sections.
Steve Troughton-Smith, who has been at the forefront of delving through the HomePod firmware, wrote, “The new status bar seems a lot more complex and powerful in design, maybe even interactive.”
Some interesting related strings (I’m guessing you’ve come across these) pic.twitter.com/Go5ZVFlzea— Jeffrey Grossman (@Jeffrey903) August 1, 2017
Other features uncovered include Tap to Wake functionality, which has previously been seen in Windows Mobile-based Lumia smartphones. There are also references to “attention detection”, which is thought to enable or disable certain interaction with your smartphone depending on if you are looking at it or not. In addition, there are a number of references to facial expressions, including the ability for the iPhone 8 to identify smiles, frowns or even a person’s dimples.
There's also a lot of new references to facial expression detection pic.twitter.com/8PsPVj1QqU— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 1, 2017
While there are no references to the inclusion of Touch ID, there is clear indication that the physical home button has been given the axe on the iPhone 8. This has been widely expected, but it’s nice to find the confirmation of this move in iOS code. Instead, a virtual home button is found in its place, and it is referenced to as the “home indicator” within iOS code.
There are likely even more clues regarding the features of the iPhone 8 still to be found, so stay tuned.