Apple's 'iPhone 8' May Mute Notification Sounds When the User is Looking at the Screen

The HomePod firmware that Apple pushed out to public servers over a week ago continues to reveal tantalizing tidbits of information about unannounced Apple hardware, and this time the plaudits go to iOS developer Guilherme Rambo for discovering lines of code that suggest the upcoming "iPhone 8" will automatically suppress notification sounds when a user is looking at the screen.


Apple's redesigned OLED iPhone is believed to include a front-facing 3D sensor capability, likely powered by acquired PrimeSense technology, that enables Apple's new facial authentication feature.

As a possible extension of biometric authentication, the line of code beginning "TLAttentionAwarenessObserver" implies that the same infrared depth sensors may be used to mute audible notifications when the user is giving the phone their full attention and looking directly at the screen. Previously uncovered code within the HomePod firmware suggests the "iPhone 8" will also be able to scan the user's face even while the device is lying flat on a table.

Of course, there's no guarantee that the sound suppression feature will show up in Apple's upcoming OLED iPhone, due to launch next month, but if it does, it's likely to be user-configurable as an Accessibility consideration. If anything it highlights another potential use case for Apple's face detection feature, which could replace Touch ID fingerprint authentication entirely on future iPhones.

While many observers remain skeptical that Touch ID can be replaced by a facial recognition system that's equally secure, rumors have suggested Apple's facial recognition technique captures more data points than a fingerprint scan, making it even more secure than Touch ID.

(Thanks, Dean!)

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
42 months ago
This is why Apple always waits until they have perfected something before adding it to the iPhone.
Any other company (like Samsung) would have just added the iris scanner to their phone and then only use it for unlocking the device, but when Apple adds it they also ask themselves "what else can we do with the face scanner?" and now here you go!

Can't wait until they finally show off everything the new iPhone can do!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
In September they should just let the homepod introduce the new iPhone.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
I love these leaks but hate them at the same time. This would’ve been an awesome announcement nobody was expecting.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

This is why Apple always waits until they have perfected something before adding it to the iPhone.

No they didn't. They JUST bought the finished product (FaceID) in February.

The company was called RealFace ('https://******************/organization/pickeez#/entity') and they developed the tech and showed it off here ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNlkxGmIgW0').

And [B]here is their website ('https://web.archive.org/web/20161028110840/http://www.realfacetech.com') with more details archived in the Wayback Machine.[/B] Apple took it offline.



Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago
I hope this scanning feature doesn't affect the battery life :')
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 months ago

This is why Apple always waits until they have perfected something before adding it to the iPhone.
Any other company (like Samsung) would have just added the iris scanner to their phone and then only use it for unlocking the device, but when Apple adds it they also ask themselves "what else can we do with the face scanner?" and now here you go!

Can't wait until they finally show off everything the new iPhone can do!

Umm....samsung have loads of features for YEARS related to the user looking at the screen

This is from 4 YEARS AGO!

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00033839/
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...