iPhone 8 Facial Recognition Appears to Support Payments, Multiple Faces and Third-Party Apps

Developers are still digging into the recently released HomePod firmware to suss out additional details on Apple's upcoming "iPhone 8," and the latest information, sourced from developer Guilherme Rambo, hints at several features we might see in the new device.

According to strings of code uncovered by Rambo, the facial recognition feature coming in the iPhone 8 appears to support authentication for Apple Pay payments, seems to work with multiple faces, and may be accessible by third-party apps, much like Touch ID.

pearlpaymentauthentication
A line in the code references a payment authentication error with "Pearl," Apple's internal code name for face recognition in the iPhone 8, while a string that reads "numberOfAppsUsingPearl" suggests facial recognition functionality can be accessed by third-party apps, likely as a passcode replacement. Given this information, facial recognition appears to be a full replacement for Touch ID, just as rumors have suggested.

pearlthirdpartyapps
Apple's upcoming facial recognition system is said to be faster and more secure than Touch ID. It can unlock an iPhone within a few hundred milliseconds, and it captures more data points than a fingerprint scan. Thanks to previous firmware leaks, we also know that it works when the iPhone is laying flat on a table and it mutes notification sounds when a face is in view.

In addition to unveiling new information about facial recognition, Rambo has also found a few other interesting bits of code that may hint at additional features coming in the iPhone 8.

There are references to multi biometrics, modern HDR, 1080p240 camera capture functionality for a "back" and a "front" (suggesting 240 fps video capture at 1080p, an upgrade from the current 720p limit), and mentions of "FrontPearl" and "BackPearl" camera support.


While the HomePod firmware has provided us with a range of details on what to expect from the iPhone 8, it's important not to read too much into ambiguous code and make too many assumptions about features that are as-of-yet unclear. "BackPearl" could suggest facial recognition for both the front and rear cameras, for example, but it could mean something else entirely. The same goes for multi-biometrics and modern HDR.

Additionally, not all of the referenced features are guaranteed to make it into the iPhone 8, so take this code as a suggestion of what might be coming rather than concrete proof of a feature.

Apple first released the HomePod firmware in late July, and because it was meant for employees testing the not-yet-available HomePod speaker, which runs a version of iOS, Apple did not strip out references to upcoming products and features.

iphone8dummymodel

Images of an iPhone 8 dummy model shared by Ben Miller

From the firmware, we've seen glimpses of the final design of the iPhone 8, and have found references to infrared-based facial recognition features, a split status bar, a tap to wake feature, new SmartCamera functionality, and more.

Details on other upcoming products, including the HomePod itself, the Series 3 Apple Watch, and a possible 4K Apple TV have also been uncovered in the firmware.

Top Rated Comments

and 1989 others Avatar
46 months ago
Hang on a minute... That colour. I know where It has been debuted before.

... The ZUNE!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ck2875 Avatar
46 months ago



I know it's just someone's really ugly mockup unit, but I would like to think Apple wouldn't release a poop-brown iPhone.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
46 months ago
homepod engineer is still crying
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
46 months ago


Apple is probably just allowing users to pay for things in pearls.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Uni Grad Avatar
46 months ago
Woah, it's been leak after leak since the HomePod firmware got released.

('https://imgflip.com/i/1tucxl')
(https://imgflip.com/i/1tud95) (https://imgflip.com/memegenerator)
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
46 months ago
Pictured: HomePod firmware
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...