We don’t know whether Apple had accidentally added the iPhone 8 design in the HomePod firmware or it was an intentional move aimed at drumming up the consumer excitement. The design leak has given UI experts and concept designers enough fodder to imagine what the interface on the 10th anniversary iPhone would look like. Designer Max Rudberg has created concept iPhone 8 images to show three possible ways to place the UI elements for the best experience.
This concept iPhone 8 gets rid of the empty spaces
The HomePod firmware revealed that the iPhone 8 would feature a bezel-less display with no physical home button. However, there will be a cutout at the top to accommodate the ear speaker, front camera, and other sensors. The 10th anniversary iPhone, code named D22, will likely be unveiled next month alongside the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus, and would ship sometime in October/November.
We don’t know how Apple will program the iOS 11 to take advantage of the iPhone 8’s design upgrades. Designer Allen Pike pointed out that on current iPhones, “Large Title” banners are placed below the navigation buttons in most of the apps. It leaves plenty of empty white space on current iPhones that could be put to better use.
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In his concept iPhone 8, Pike placed the navigation buttons at the bottom, next to the virtual home button.
Pike’s theory looks impressive. Moving the top navigation buttons to the bottom bar on the left and right side of the virtual home button will make it easier for users to navigate through the apps. Designer Max Rudberg took Pike’s theory a step further by imagining different ways Apple could change the iOS 11 interface. He came up with three ways to arrange the top bar ‘notch’ and the bottom navigation buttons.
Which of the three concept iPhone 8 interfaces makes the most sense?
The first scenario shows what it would look like if Apple embraces the notch. Here, the icons for signal strength, battery, WiFi, and Bluetooth are placed on either side of the top cutout that houses the front camera and ear piece. In all three concept iPhone 8 images, Rudberg has removed the current time from the status bar and moved the navigation buttons to the bottom.
The second one sticks to the same idea. But it has darkened the top portion on either side of the cutout to blend it with the hardware notch. The third concept goes a step further and blends the bottom navigation bar as well. The third one gives the feel of the current iPhones. Apple’s actual interface may not resemble these concepts, but it gives us a few cool ideas.
Given the top cutout, it’s not yet clear how Apple will handle the landscape mode while watching videos or playing games.
Samsung ramps up iPhone 8 OLED display production
Apple Insider reports that Samsung Display has ramped up OLED production for the iPhone 8. The Korean company is currently operating seven production lines at “full scale” to meet the massive demand for Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone. According to ETNews, Samsung Display’s OLED production capacity for iPhones has increased from merely 15,000 panels per month last year to 105,000 panels per month this year.
You might think that 105,000 per month seems like a ridiculously low number. Apple has placed orders for a whopping 70 million OLED screens. ETNews says that each panel can be used to make multiple iPhone 8 screens. The 10th anniversary iPhone will have a 5.8-inch display, the bottom portion of which will be dedicated to a new virtual function area.
Pearl ID, SmartCam and more
Developers also found references to a new infrared sensor for iPhone 8 hidden within the HomePod firmware. The infrared sensor will be used for facial recognition, and is part of the BiometricKit framework. Apple refers to the facial detection feature as “Pearl ID.” Microsoft uses a similar Windows Hello face detection method in the Surface computers. The Pearl ID will not only unlock your device, but also authenticate payments via Apple Pay.
I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere pic.twitter.com/yLsgCx7OTZ
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) July 31, 2017
It is too early to say what would happen to the Touch ID fingerprint sensor if Pearl ID takes center stage. Another feature found in the HomePod firmware is a new SmartCam system. The SmartCam will be able to automatically detect what it is taking a picture of and tune the settings based on the scene to capture the best shot. Earlier iOS versions included a basic version of the feature for automatic exposure.
The iPhone 8 will also introduce augmented reality. Apple has already made the ARKit available to developers to let them build AR experiences into their apps. The HomePod firmware also contains references to an “ARFaceAnchor.” It is related to depth perception using the front-facing camera. Other rumored features include wireless charging and a faster A11 chipset. The iPhone 8 is expected to cost users upward of $1,000.