This whole annual process to get to a new iPhone is getting a little stale. The next iPhones are not even here yet and technology websites are writing about what’s coming next year in iPhone 9. We don’t even know what Apple will name this year’s iPhone.
All the speculation about iPhone circa 2018 ended with the latest rumor on 3D Face ID facial recognition expected to be built into iPhone 8 (I’m leaning toward iPhone Pro; we’ll see). If what you believe on fake news sites is accurate, Apple’s 3D Face ID system is so good it will replace Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
Every year the tech industry’s prognosticators and their cousins, market analysts, come up with a growing list of what to expect in the new iPhone. Apple kept the outer case design much the same in iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus, and 7 and 7 Plus, but changed everything else inside. This year will be different.
What’s coming? Here’s my updated list:
- New cameras for improved augmented reality applications
- Smarter camera app for improve object and scene detection
- 3D Face ID facial recognition to replace Touch ID
- Infrared scanner and sensor that works in the dark
- Inductive charging (not wireless; think Apple Watch)
- Steel edges with micr0-bezel design; more screen, less case
- Glass on back and front for charging and improved reception
- OLED display instead of LCD
- Long and wide Power button (some think it may have Touch ID)
- Virtual Home button – onscreen, instead of inscreen
No surprises, right?
We can expect updated iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, and the above features to show up in the premium iPhone 8, but it’s also reasonable to assume that Apple will forgo the previous naming convention and move to iPhone, iPhone Plus, and iPhone Pro.
We can expect faster CPU and faster graphics, and, of course, iOS 11 will debut with plenty of new features and capabilities, but the one that sticks out the most is what I call 3D Face ID. The way such technology works is relatively simple but not easy to pull off (otherwise, it will be in every smartphone already).
A few years ago Apple bought the technology behind Microsoft’s Kinect device and that’s where 3D Face ID comes in. An infrared light in the iPhone’s forehead notch sprays the face with dots of light which bounce back to sensors which then create a 3D image of the face. It’s infrared so you can’t see the lights but the iPhone’s sensors can. The result is an image that is perhaps more accurate and even faster than the popular Touch ID fingerprint system, and Apple will make it work with Apple Pay, and make it unlock your iPhone– even in the dark (it’s infrared).
When? Soon. Less than a month. How much? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 512GB iPhone top $1,000. 3D Face ID technology will show up in future iPads and Macs.