Although Apple works tirelessly to prevent iPhone 8 leaks from bubbling up via the company’s murky supply chain, it turns out that the most revealing iPhone 8 leaks of all have come directly from Apple. In a rather bizarre turn of events, Apple over the weekend released firmware for its upcoming HomePod speaker online, and in the process, it inadvertently gave developers the opportunity to unearth and essentially confirm a number of key iPhone 8 details.
Over the past few days, developers uncovered evidence relating to the iPhone 8’s edge to edge display along with a new facial recognition feature. All the more interesting is that noted developer Steve Troughton-Smith relayed earlier this week that the iPhone 8 will not include a Touch ID sensor embedded into the display, as previously rumored. This of course prompted some to question what Apple is going to do with Apple Pay. Would Apple put a Touch ID sensor on the back of the device? It’s certainly possible, and we have seen some iPhone 8 prototypes featuring such a design. Or, might Apple rely upon facial recognition as a means to authorize financial transactions?
As it turns out, newly unearthed data strings found in the HomePod firmware seem to suggest that Apple Pay on the iPhone 8 will, in fact, rely upon facial recognition for authentication purposes.
As you can see above, there are data strings referencing payments alongside a reference to “pearl”, a codename which likely refers to Apple’s facial recognition software. In short, there’s reason to believe that Apple with the iPhone 8 might actually abandon Touch ID in favor of a facial recognition solution. Even though facial recognition on the iPhone 8 is said to be incredible and will even be able to work in the dark, it’ll be interesting to see if it provides the same degree of usability that TouchID has been affording users for years.