Looks Like Apple Accidentally Confirmed One of the New iPhone's Coolest Features

The lead-up to every new iPhone release comes with plenty of rabid speculation about what flashy new features Apple plans to unveil in the latest version of its flagship device, so being able to glean even the smallest morsel of intel from the famously secretive company is huge. That's especially true for the iPhone 8 (or whatever it might be called), which has been of particular interest for industry experts and Apple fanatics, who believe the 10th anniversary edition will not only be its most advanced to date, but also its most expensive.

Now, thanks to a slip-up by Apple itself, it appears we have confirmation of a couple rumored features, including one of the coolest: a face-detecting front-facing camera that'll automatically 3D scan your mug to unlock your phone

On Friday, Apple pushed out the firmware (i.e., integral software) to developers for its forthcoming HomePod speaker, which doesn't come out until December. And while it revealed a good deal about the speaker's specs itself, several eagle-eyed experts are convinced it also confirmed the existence of a number of rumored new iPhone features. According to developer Steve Troughton-Smith, who's been poring over the code for the last couple of days, it contains details about something called "BKFaceDetect," which he cites as proof that the phone will feature a front-facing infrared camera capable of scanning your face to confirm your identity (even in the dark), like a next-level version of TouchID. If true, it would seemingly confirm what severaloutlets have been reporting for months.

The HomePod firmware also included what appears to be a number of other significant details about the iPhone, most notably regarding the screen. An image contained in the code shows what is presumably a mock-up of the new phone's screen, and it's bezel-less (meaning no more letterbox-style bars along the top and bottom). There also isn't a Home button, which may or may not confirm that it's going away. 

Importantly, these details refer specifically to the rumored "premium" iPhone that will likely be announced and released along with slightly updated versions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. It will also likely be significantly more expensive than the others.

Then again, Apple's pulled off plenty of surprises in the past, so there's no knowing for sure what its latest pocket computer will offer until Tim Cook and co. hit the stage to announce it, probably early this fall. One thing you can count on: hordes of people scrambling to get their hands on one as soon as they possibly can.

h/tThe Verge

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.