HomePod firmware appears to reveal iPhone 8 front design, support for facial recognition

In digging through the newly released firmware for Apple’s HomePod, developer Steve Troughton-Smith has come across an image seemingly confirming the rumored bezel-less iPhone 8 front design and code that shows users will be able to use facial recognition to unlock the phone. Troughton-Smith claims to have found an infra-red face unlock inside BiometricKit — the framework also responsible for Touch ID support — that can detect faces from various angles and even when they’re partially obscured. The framework also guards against using images or 3D models of faces to gain access, but time will tell whether facial recognition is secure and responsive enough to replace Touch ID for things like Apple Pay.
A graphic in the code also seems to confirm the slimmer bezels and top cutout design for the new iPhone 8, echoing another post on SlashLeaks showing a packaging insert featuring a very similar but slightly more detailed illustration showing how to insert the SIM card. Troughton-Smith confirmed other details about the HomePod as well, like the fact that the speaker will run a full version of iOS just like an iPhone — with full support for accessibility features including VoiceOver — but rely on a shell app called SoundBoard to operate without a full screen. The HomePod doesn’t appear to be able to support any third-party apps or extensions despite running iOS, and its touch surface is currently limited to the Siri symbol and plus and minus buttons for controlling the music even though Troughton-Smith said the display itself was capable of supporting more. [via 9to5Mac]

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