The iPhone 8 will launch running iOS 11 - because of this, iOS 11 is likely being tailor-made to work seamlessly with, and highlight features of, the next-gen Apple flagship. Because of that fact alone, we can find a plethora of clues hidden within the software that hint or suggest at upcoming features of the iPhone 8. Here are five things that we believe iOS tells us about Apple's upcoming iPhone.
5. Next-Level AR Capabilities
Apple’s official unveiling of ARKit is definitely indicative of the company’s greater ambitions for augmented reality. While some older iPhone models will be able to use ARKit-developed apps, the iPhone 8 is likely to take augmented reality to the next level. The device is expected to pack advanced 3D sensors and depth-mapping lasers, all of which would allow for augmented reality experiences that we just haven’t seen before in a mobile context. With Apple’s A11 chipset, we can only imagine the possibilities of ARKit combined with the raw power and additional features of the iPhone 8.
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4. Edge-to-Edge OLED + Better Battery Life
An edge-to-edge OLED display is a widely cited feature of the upcoming iPhone but the subtle iOS 11 UI tweaks hint at other changes, too. As we’ve previously reported, the icons in the signal and status bar have been slightly redesigned and condensed — presumably to allow for the top cut-out where the camera and speaker will be.
Some other native apps, like the video player, show similar design tweaks with tons of empty space in the middle-left and right when in landscape orientation, where such a cut-out would be. The entire OS also incorporates more black in its design (as seen in the updated Calculator app), all of which will look stunning on an OLED display that can display deeper blacks and more vibrant colors. Not only that, but the darker user interface elements and backgrounds will take advantage of OLED’s power-saving abilities when displaying black pixels. Thus, we can expect the iPhone 8 to have much better battery life than its LCD-equipped predecessors.
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3. Wireless Charging
Wireless charging has long been rumored to be a standout feature on this year’s next iPhone, though the jury’s still out on what form it might take. In iOS 11, however, we may have gotten a hidden little tidbit that lends a lot more credence to its existence. Specifically, the confirmation sound that you get when you plug a charger into your iPhone.
As seen in the embedded YouTube video, there are two such power-related sound files in iOS. The first, of course, is basically the same sound as previous iOS versions — the file that plays when you plug a phone in. The second sound where things get interesting. It hasn’t been seen in the wild yet, which hints that it’s meant for a feature that just doesn’t exist on current iPhones. On another note, just listen to it. Apple knows design, and the whooshing just sounds like what you’d expect when placing an iPhone on a wireless charging pad.
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2. Better Cameras, Better Storage
During WWDC, Apple boasted about iOS 11’s switch to HEVC and HEIF camera photo formats. Previously, videos were compressed using the h.264 codec and pictures taken with the Camera were saved as regular old JPEG files. The new file formats will reportedly save about 50 percent of storage space compared to the old ones — which hints at one thing: the iPhone 8’s camera setup is likely to gain a big bump. Better cameras mean better image quality, which in turn means bigger file sizes. Thus, Apple’s switch hints at the iPhone 8’s camera ambitions. And let’s not forget about advanced AR and 3D-enabled camera features, all of which are likely to take up more space than traditional photos, too.
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1. Under-Display Touch ID
If you’ve been keeping up with iPhone 8 news anytime in the last few months, you know there’s an ongoing debate about whether the Touch ID fingerprint sensor will be rear-mounted or embedded underneath the display. We’re firmly in the second camp, and the iOS 11 betas hint at display-embedded Touch ID, too. We’ve previously pointed out the suspiciously familiar, circular-shaped Siri button, but there are some other hints that Apple will nix the Home button and replace it with a display-embedded button and sensor.
There’s also a fingerprint icon for Touch ID in the App Store and other places, located roughly where a virtual Home button (or Function Area) would be. This suggests that you’ll place your finger on the screen rather than on an analog sensor or button. While circular-shaped fingerprint icons were around in iOS 10, it was exclusively for Apple Pay. Now the circular, fingerprint-shaped design seems to be spreading across the entire OS.