Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone is going to have an entirely new design. That’s no secret. Apple itself has leaked the iPhone 8 design. If folks in the rumor mill turn out to be true, we will officially get to see the iPhone 8 on September 12. The iPhone 8’s new design, including a “notch” at the top of the screen, means Apple will have to radically change the iOS 11 interface for the device.

iOS 11 Interface On iPhone 8
Image Source: iDropNews.com (screenshot)

The iOS 11 interface needed to change

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg sheds light on how the iOS 11 interface will function on a device with no physical or virtual home button. The home button has been an integral part of the iPhone’s decade-long journey. People have become used to it. Sources familiar with the iPhone development told Gurman that the anniversary iPhone would rely entirely on gesture controls to perform different tasks.

Before diving into the new iOS 11 interface, let’s talk about hardware changes we will see in the iPhone 8. Sources told Guman that it would have a 5.8-inch near bezel-less OLED display with a top “notch” that will accommodate the 3D facial recognition sensor, front camera, and the ear speaker. Its overall size would be similar to the iPhone 7. Unlike the current iPhones, its screen is rounded on the corners.

The power button on the right side has become longer. The 10th-anniversary model will have a vertically oriented dual camera setup on the back. Apple has reportedly included a stainless steel band around the device, which the glass curves into. There are small antenna cuts on the corners of the steel band.

The status bar to appear on either side of the top ‘notch’

Starting with the top “notch” area, Apple has decided not to hide it. It means users will see a definitive cutout at the top if the app on the screen has a non-black background. Sources told Gurman that the status bar that normally shows the time, battery life, cellular strength, and WiFi will be split into two parts – one on the left and another on the right side of the notch. Apple employees internally call them “ears.”

The left bar will only show time, while the right one will show you battery life, WiFi, and cellular connectivity. Since the status bar on the iPhone 8 will have limited space, the icons could change depending on the task at hand. The notch and black edges on the front will blend seamlessly when the display shows black.  The iPhone 8 display is not curved on the sides like Samsung Galaxy S8.

Going to the Home screen, App Switcher

So, how will you navigate through apps on the new iOS 11 interface? When locked, the next-gen iPhone will have thin strip called “software bar” in place of the home button. Swiping it up to the middle of the display will open the smartphone to the home screen. Once you are inside an app, a similar gesture will invoke the multitasking App Switcher in iOS 11. You can swipe it further upward to close the app and return to the home screen.

According to Gurman, Apple has redesigned the multitasking interface to make it look like “a series of standalone cards” that you can swipe through rather than a stack of cards on the current iPhones. The new gesture controls could be difficult to adapt for people used to the Home button. Apple hopes you’ll eventually get used to it.

At 5.8 inches, the iPhone 8 screen is larger than the iPhone 7 Plus. It means users will be able to see more text messages in a conversation and more of a web page. However, the device will still show only six rows of apps on each page. There will be a dock at the bottom to accommodate the frequently used apps. The dock looks similar to the iPad dock in the iOS 11 beta.

Pearl ID to replace Touch ID?

Noted iOS developer Guilherme Rambo recently posted a video showing the gesture controls and the floating dock. The fingerprint sensor will likely be replaced by a new Pearl ID face detection technology. Sources recently told Korea Herald that Apple’s Pearl ID will be able to recognize your face in “the millionth of a second.” It is not yet known how accurate it will be, though.

Apple will also launch the refreshed versions of the current iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. They are rumored to be called iPhone 7S and 7S Plus. All three devices coming this year will have a glass back to facilitate wireless charging. However, a recent report claims that Apple’s wireless charging technology will be slower than that of Android vendors. And you’ll be able to use only Apple’s charging mat or third-party accessories that have been certified under the Made for iPhone (Mfi) program.

The Cupertino company is also expected to unveil the third-generation Apple Watch and a new 4K Apple TV at the September 12 event.