Dubbed the “biggest bombshell Apple leak in years” by Wired editor Brian Barrett, Cupertino’s no doubt unintentional HomePod firmware release late last week is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Essential info on both the Siri-powered smart speaker due out in December and especially Apple’s highly anticipated first OLED iPhone expected to see daylight sometime this fall continues to transpire from source code thoroughly examined by skilled iOS developers.
Granted, that internal sketch of the iPhone 8 (still an unconfirmed name) came as no surprise for anyone the least bit interested in the latest tech news and rumor rumblings. But it’s incredibly unusual for Apple to let the cat out of the bag so early and clearly.
The company’s accidental guarantee of authenticity is also what makes the Face Unlock or tap to wake reveals special. That’s right, the convenient double-tap function used by Windows Phones and certain Androids to allow the user to intuitively activate the screen is likely coming to iOS devices later this year.
Meanwhile, facial detection might indeed be a much bigger deal than on Samsung’s Galaxy S8, with a boatload of code references to recognition of various expressions. Again, no surprises, particularly in the absence of ultrasound under-screen Touch ID signs. It’s looking increasingly likely that fingerprint scanning will be left out of the iPhone 8 equation, and the same goes for your traditional home key.
But a small “function area” containing a virtual home button is still expected to sit beneath a super-sharp 5.15-inch or so OLED display apparently sporting 2436 x 1125 resolution. That would produce an eye-catching pixel density of around 520 ppi, up from 401 ppi on last year’s iPhone 7 Plus.
Last but not least, just a few words about the Apple HomePod as well. Literally a few words, since there’s not a lot to be said of great significance. Third-party app and extension support is predictably missing, with “all of iOS” basically ported on a “device sans screen.”
For what it’s worth, the center part of the smart speaker’s surface may be able to show basics like temperature and weather icons on an “LED matrix” with a modest 272 x 340 resolution. Oh, and there’s 1GB RAM under the hood, it seems.