Next-generation iPhones likely to focus on internal improvements.
iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanning Home Button to Look Nearly Identical, iOS 7 for iPad to Debut Later with New Hardware?
Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, who has reported accurately in the past, published a lengthy post today sharing a number of tidbits that he has heard from his sources.
Gurman says there will be a fingerprint scanner built into the home button of the iPhone 5S, but it will not look significantly different from the current home button. He also says that Apple did not build the fingerprint scanner into early prototypes of the 5S, but instead tested the scanners in an external housing.
Previously, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has on a number of occasions offered accurate information on Apple's product plans, said the iPhone 5S may include a sapphire-covered home button with a convex shape to fit the fingerprint sensor. However, Gurman says the new home button will not be dramatically different:
The new Home button’s design will not be noticeably convex. Perhaps the shape has changed slightly, but the tweaked button is nothing distinct enough for the iPhone 5S to be identified as anything but an iPhone 5 by the untrained eye. There’s the possibility, however, that the etching and border of the Home button could become more shiny and look slightly different.He says Apple is concerned about user privacy and security and, with very few iPhone owners using a passcode, the company is hoping the fingerprint scanner will help keep iPhones secure. The 5S will have an option to disable the fingerprint sensor, however.
When iOS 7 was first released to developers at WWDC back in June, Apple delayed the initial beta release for the iPad by several weeks. Gurman says the iPad version of iOS 7 continues to run behind the iPhone version, which remains the priority for Apple's engineers. As a result, he says Apple is considering a delay in the final release of iOS 7 for the iPad, perhaps holding it for release in late September or early October alongside the launch of updated iPad hardware.
Many developers have noted that the iOS 7 builds for iPad feel unstable and unreliable compared to the iPhone-optimized betas. The reason is that Apple started on iOS 7 for iPhone prior to building for the iPad.Apple is also rumored to be working on iOS 7-specific training sessions for Apple Retail Stores, as the company is expecting some customers to be surprised by the new look-and-feel of the software and that they will need extra help.
Apple engineers are also "said to be working overtime" to ensure that iOS 7 runs smoothly on the iPhone 4 and that iOS 7 may be the last version of iOS to support the iPhone 4.
Finally, Gurman offers a few notes about future versions of iOS, including that Apple is hard at work on iOS 7.1 and it could include some iOS in the Car features. He notes that details are scarce regarding iOS 8, but he's heard about several projects "in development" at Apple:
We’ve heard that a Siri API, with restrictions to certain app categories (like weather, information, and news apps), has been considered in the past. Also in the works are advancements to iOS in the Car that could tie in an iPhone’s camera to provide the car improved information about current road conditions. This could help with re-routing vehicles via the iOS Maps appiOS 7 is scheduled for release in the fall of this year, with updates to Apple’s iPhone and iPad lineups expected around the same time. If past history is any indication, iOS 7 should be made available to the public just a few days before the release of the next-generation iPhone.