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
58 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
58 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
58 months ago
homepod engineer is still crying
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
58 months ago


Apple is probably just allowing users to pay for things in pearls.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Uni Grad Avatar
58 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
58 months ago
Pictured: HomePod firmware
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud General Feature

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...