Apple Just Accidently Revealed The Name Of The Next iPhone
Apple has been very good at stopping people leaking details about its new iPhones. But it appears not to have reminded itself.
The company has accidentally leaked major details about its new phones, by making the software that will run on that phone available to the public. Inside that software is information on how the brand new phone will work, including major new features and what it will actually be called.
It’s the second time the company has accidentally made available software that spoiled the release of the new phone, which will come out next week. Last month, it uploaded the software that powers its HomePod to the internet, and the smart speaker’s operating system included a range of information about the iPhone 8 and X.This time around, the software is the actual operating system from the next phone. That means that it’s the first look at how iOS 11 – in itself a major upgrade – will deal with the various new design changes in the brand new iPhone.
New camera and screen technology
Like in recent years, Apple is expected to focus on the camera as one of the central features of the new phone. And as in recent years, it will do that in part by including a range of new features.
This time around, those will include “Portrait Lighting”, according to the software. That will use special technology to change the lighting of portraits, and the software includes a range of different names: Contour Light, Natural Light, Stage Light, Stage Light Mono, and Studio Light.
The display will also feature “True Tone” technology, which has already appeared inside the iPad Pro. That uses sensors to detect what the light is like and reflect that on the screen, so that the white of browser pages doesn’t look bright in a more yellow-lit room, for instance.
The lock button gets smart
We know that Apple will be dropping the home button from the front of the phone – you can find more details on that here. But the new software suggests some of its functions will move to the lock button on the side.
Instead of just being used to turn the phone on, the button will be able to trigger Siri, open up Apple Pay like on the Watch, and to start a special SOS mode that can be used to ring the police, the leaks suggest,
The button might not even be real. It might be swapped for a “virtual” button that uses vibrations to make it feel like it is being pressed, the software suggests.
How the iPhone will recognise your face
Facial recognition is widely rumoured to be the biggest feature of the new iPhone. But we’ve not had much of a look at how it actually works.
The new leak makes clear that the phone will use its 3D sensors to watch anyone that is using it. If it sees that person is its owner, it will unlock – and if it sees its owner is watching it, then it will make changes to how it works.
The facial recognition appears to be “ambient”, meaning that it’s on all the time. That appears to mean that it will seem to its owner that the phone is unlocked all the time, since it will usually have recognised who’s holding it before you go to unlock it or respond to notifications.
That will also mean that the phone will know whether it “has attention”, as the software says. That will mean, for instance, that if someone is looking at the phone then it won’t need to make its notifications quite so loud.
Mr Rambo shared a video of how the facial recognition software will look when it is being used. He noted that the facial recognition technology isn’t working, so it doesn’t line up with where his face actually is.
How the iPhone will deal with the notch at the top of the screen
Perhaps the most confusing and controversial of the design decisions in the iPhone is the little notch that sits at the top, and houses the facial recognition sensors, the traditional camera, and the earpiece for phone calls.
Without that notch, the screen of the new phone would wrap all the way over the front. But instead, the notch intrudes down from the top, putting a black lump at the top of the screen.
It wasn’t clear whether Apple would embrace that notch – designing around it – or try and ignore it. It appears to be doing the former, organising the top of the screen around the black area.