Subtle iOS 11 Tweaks Hint at Major Design Changes for iPhone 8

iPhone X iOS 11 Concept Image

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The iOS 11 developer beta has been in circulation for weeks now, and those who’ve had a chance to explore the software’s new features and UI enhancements have so far revealed a ton of exciting info about what’s baked into Apple’s next major update for iPhone and iPad. Better still, as Cupertino continues to tweak and refine iOS 11, even more enhancements are sure to be discovered, which showcase subtle UI changes that hint at a major iPhone 8 redesign. Here we examine two such changes and their potential implications.

Siri ‘Home Button’

Noticed in the iOS 11 beta by AppleInsider, is an all-new (and mysteriously foretelling) software-based Siri ‘button’. This perfectly circular soft button could effectively replace the clicky Home button that Apple has been rumored to be doing away with on the iPhone 8. The new Siri icon might replace the groovy wave UI element from iOS 10, and currently rests at the bottom of the display when Siri isn’t actively listening.

Though there’s no imprint or Touch ID ring surrounding this virtual Siri button, it’s worth noting that its size and dimensions line up almost perfectly with Apple’s traditional Home button. In theory, it appears as if the Siri button will in some way interface with the glass-embedded Touch ID sensor that Apple is all but certain to implement on this year’s iPhone 8.

While some reports have claimed the $1,000, high-end device may not ship until a later date due to manufacturing issues, Apple’s iPhone 8 will likely be the first (or second) device to market featuring this new display-embedded fingerprint sensing technology — and a Siri button that’s shaped and positioned like the one discovered here could be a tell-tale sign that Apple has officially axed the Home button on iPhone 8, as expected.

Condensed Signal Bar

As iDrop News pointed out when we took an exclusive ‘Look Into the Future of iPhone X Running iOS 11’, Apple has redesigned the signal bar in iOS 11. While iOS 10 displays the device’s signal strength via a series of dots positioned side-by-side, iOS 11 has brought the signal strength indicator back to its roots with the classic, smaller, vertical bars that were seen in pre-iOS 7 devices.

By taking other factors, such as the unique nature of iPhone 8’s edge-to-edge OLED display, into consideration, it would appear that Apple has condensed the signal bar in an effort to make room for the new sensor bar, which has surfaced in a myriad of iPhone 8 renders thus far. The sensor bar will likely house the device’s earpiece, sensor array, and dual-lens 3D camera system, and leaves only a small area on the left and right sides for Apple to display onscreen status indicators. We believe this move was intentional, and that Apple has implemented the narrow, old-school bar icon to save as much space at the top of the display as possible.

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