Apple’s HomePod, the company’s smart speaker, is set to become a repository of information but it’s already telling us things we didn’t know. Things that Apple would probably rather were kept secret. Things like… what the new iPhone’s display might look like and how the handset will unlock using your face.
For starters, we’ve got a fairly good idea of what the iPhone display will look like and it’s quite close to current rumoured shapes. Tucked away inside the HomePod code for Apple Pay is an icon (seen above), apparently showing the handset’s new bezel-less design.
And then there is Apple’s face unlock system, which is apparently codenamed Pearl ID. It’s an infra-red facial recognition system which should work in the dark to unlock your handset — something that Samsung’s S8 currently battles (hard) with.
The reason that these items have been located from the HomePod’s firmware is because, weirdly enough, the smart speaker is basically a smartphone without a display. In fact, the speaker is detected as an iPhone SE by the iTunes store.
Prodding around in the HomePod’s code hasn’t ended and is fuelling speculation around iPhone resolutions and screen sizes. Information in the HomePod firmware seems to indicate that the new iPhone will have a resolution of 2436 x 1125, the largest seen in an Apple phone to date. There’s also hints of a 6.5in iOS display but surely that doesn’t refer to a massively oversized iPhone? Right? Well, actually…