iPhone 8 fingerprint sensors reportedly scrapped while cameras add “SmartCam” mode, better 4K video

Code extracted from Apple’s new HomePod and posted on iOs developer Guilherme Rambo’s Twitter account seems to show a “SmartCam” feature in the iPhone 8 that will automatically select the best shots while photographing particular subjects. The setting names cover a variety of commonly photographed objects or scenes, including babies, pets, documents, brightly lit stages, fireworks, foliage, sports, snow, the sky, sunsets and sunrises. While the iPhone already makes educated guesses at which shots are best when used in burst mode, Rambo said the “SmartCam” functionality is new to the HomePod iOS 11.0.2 firmware. Other snippets of code show that both the front and rear iPhone 8 cameras may support recording video in 4K at 60 fps, according to iHelp BR. The front cameras on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus currently record video at 4K at 30 fps, but the FaceTime camera tops out at 1080p.
On the hardware front, well-connected KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting the iPhone 8 won’t ship with an embedded fingerprint sensor, putting a new urgency on months of speculation that Apple was having both hardware and software problems with the feature. While there’s been some concern over whether the expect facial recognition capability of the new device will be secure enough for use as a replacement for Touch ID on mobile payments, but another bit of iOS code hints at Apple’s facial scans—code named “Pearl” in the code—being integrated into contactless payments through Passbook. Getting fingerprint scanners to work through the new OLED isn’t the only problem Apple seems to be having on their front, with a Foxconn senior vice-president claiming in a now-deleted post (preserved by My Drivers) that the OLED screen yield is around 60 percent due to the complexity of making such a precise top cutout for the new design. The official said the “iPhone 8 is not cheap” as a result, although no price point was discussed. And in one final bit of screen intrigue, 9to5Mac reports a reference to a “6.5-inch Retina display” is also included in the HomePod code. With the iPhone 7 Plus measuring 5.5” and the iPad mini measuring 7.9”, there’s currently no device that fits that profile. With the iPhone 8 expected to fit a screen size similar to that on the iPhone 7 Plus into the footprint of the iPhone 7, it’s possible Apple has produced a similar screen jump in an iPhone 7 Plus sized device, but so far no one has speculated at their being a second, larger version of the iPhone 8.

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