It might be one of the worst-kept secrets surrounding the release of the iPhone 8. Now, an apparently unintentional leak from Apple themselves, reveals that you will be able to unlock the iPhone 8 with your face.
For months rumors have been swirling about a new 3D face scanning technology that will be available in the iPhone 8. Now, using information within the HomePod firmware, developers have been able to reveal some previously unconfirmed information about the upcoming iPhone 8 3D face scanning feature. Guilherme Rambo, a developer, has been Tweeting his findings as he sifts through the HomePod code. Because HomePod will be running a version of iOS 11, there is a lot of information within that mentions other devices that will also be using the new version of iOS.
We have been hearing for months about a feature that would allow users to unlock iPhone 8 with their face. We have always referred to this feature as “3D face scanning” for lack of a confirmed name. The code seems to suggest that the feature will be called “PearlID” – similar to the existing TouchID fingerprint sensor but for your face. Also within the code is an indication of how the feature will work. It appears that PearlID will use an infrared sensor to scan the users face and allow them to unlock the iPhone 8. In addition to unlocking their device, users should also be able to use PearlID to authorize Apple Pay purchases and access secure apps on their iPhone 8.
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There have been a lot of rumors about PearlID for months and the chatter has only increased as more and more iPhone 8 leaks have dropped throughout the summer. Of course, nothing is official until Apple shows it off at their conference but a leak from Apple’s own code is about as confirmed as you can get before an official announcement. It’s also nice to see this more credible leak because it aligns with previous rumblings about how users can unlock iPhone 8.
Speaking of previous leaks… While PearlID may be one of the biggest pieces of news from the HomePod leak; it wasn’t the only thing we were able to learn from the code.
The new, bezel-less design of the iPhone 8 also appears to have been confirmed. The iPhone 8 display with stretch from edge to edge with only a small cutout at the top of the display for the earpiece and front-facing sensors. That also means that the home button as we know it is dead. The removal of the home button means TouchID is either gone or moved which means that the face unlocking feature may be the new, easiest way to unlock iPhone 8. TouchID may still be included in the device, however. There was some talk that Apple was trying to embed TouchID under the display. However, there was also rumors that Apple was having trouble accomplishing that task and may have actually moved TouchID to be a part of the lock/power button on the right-hand side of the device.
Turn the iPhone 8 over and you will likely find a vertically aligned dual camera sensor – assuming the renders we have seen are correct. The vertically aligned dual camera sensor should be perfect for augmented reality (AR) applications as AR works best in a landscape environment. There is an ARKit in iOS 11 so we know Apple definitely has some plans for AR in the near future.
Finally, one more new feature that many are expecting to come to the iPhone 8 is wireless charging. With that said, wireless charging may not be enabled at launch. Some analysts believe that Apple’s wireless charging pads won’t be ready to launch alongside the iPhone 8 this fall. To get past this delay, Apple is apparently going to enable wireless charging at a later date through a firmware update. This isn’t unprecedented. Apple did the same thing with Portrait Mode in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s obviously not an ideal solution but wireless charging at a later date is better than no wireless charging at all.
So, what will all of these new features cost Apple fans? Well, being able to unlock iPhone 8 with your face won’t come cheap. A lot of industry analysts are suggesting that the iPhone 8 price will start at a cool $1,100. That’s a couple hundred dollars more than the rumored price of the Galaxy Note 8 – Apple’s biggest competitor this fall. Of course, some people will pay the cost of admission but some people might choose to look elsewhere for their next smartphone.
What do you think? Is using your face to unlock iPhone 8 an interesting enough feature to justify buying the new model? Let us know your thoughts!