Apple’s Own Code Reveals iPhone 8 Design, Confirms Face Detection

August 2, 2017 •

iPhone 8

This week, Apple released the firmware code for the upcoming Home Pod Siri powered speaker system. Buried within the code, certain pieces of information can be found about currently unreleased iPhone models. The details reveal both information regarding the iPhone 8 design as well as facial recognition features in the new handset.

Apple iPhone 8 Design

iPhone 8

The Home Pod firmware Apple released is an upcoming version of iOS 11, which is two updates ahead of the initial version set to release with the iPhone 8. Within the code base, developer @stroughtonsmith discovered iPhone 8 iconography. While the kernel file does not specifically label the device as “iPhone 8,” the glyph image perfectly matches all of the rumors that claim an edge to edge iPhone, releasing this fall. Some speculation still surrounds the screen ears, which sit next to the ear piece. The blank screen space could easily be used to present the data connection type, cellular provider and battery. It is often mocked as the status bar, with the full screen displaying just below the earpiece cutout.

iPhone 8

The additional hardware space is said to include the standard earpiece and FaceTime camera, but potentially a facial recognition sensor. In a leak from earlier this week, from Macotakara, via MacRumors, it is speculated that several new sensors will be placed at the screen top.

Leading further credence to facial recognition, @stroughtonsmith also discovered code relating to another biometric input method, from the same Home Pod code.

Apple iPhone 8 “Pearl ID”

iPhone 8

The additional code, pictured above, outlines an authentication string command that is checking for biometric IDs on supported devices. You can see the code is checking for “touchID” and “pearlID,” which is part of the BiometricKitInterface. While Apple has not formally announced any new biometric authentication systems, it is safe to assume this code is specifically related to the yet-announced iPhone. Home Pod as it was released, does not contain a biometric sensor, leaving the iPhone 8 for speculation. Additionally, on Line 8 in the code above, “PearlID-D22” is linked to this D22 variable.

The D22 variable leads back to the aforementioned bezel-less iPhone image from above. The iPhone glyph can be found in the kernel file via Payment_glyph_phone-D22.caar… note the “D22” in the file name.

iPhone 8

What Does All Of This Information Mean for iPhone 8?

To condense this information into the least complex explanation: Apple, through its own publicly released code (which as of this posting, it has locked down from snooping eyes), has accidentally confirmed the 1) bezel-less iPhone 8 design, 2) the lack of a front facing Touch ID sensor, unlike all previous iPhones, and 3) that some form of new biometric-based authentication system will be found on the upcoming iPhone.

There are still plenty of unanswered questions as well: 1) Is the TouchID just going to be placed on the back? 2) If not, will TouchID be buried beneath the screen? 3) Will there not be any form of TouchID? …among many more.

With leaks hitting the web about once-per-day, it is safe to say the iPhone announcement is probably going to fall during its normal timeline, somewhere around the second week of September. Many blogs and supply chain analysts do not believe the new iPhone 8 will be immediately ready for purchase, but expect to pay in excess of $1,000.