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Apple's Next iPhone: Facial-Recognition, All-Screen Design (theguardian.com) 140

Apple may have just revealed the features you could expect in the next iPhone. Last week, the company released the firmware of the HomePod, a smart speaker which it will begin selling later this year. In the code, the company has accidentally spilled some features about at least one of the iPhone models. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith looked at the code to find that the next iPhone is going to feature facial recognition and a brand new "bezel-less" design. From a report: The near bezel-less design has long been expected, with leaks and rumours suggesting that Apple was following Samsung's design moves with the Galaxy S8 and producing a smartphone that resembles Android-creator Andy Rubin's upcoming Essential phone. Apple is not the first company to use IR-based face recognition as a means of unlocking devices and authenticating users. Microsoft's Windows Hello IR-based face recognition is found in its Surface line as well as Windows 10 computers from other manufacturers.
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Apple's Next iPhone: Facial-Recognition, All-Screen Design

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  • No bezel means you have to have zero-fat fingers to hold it.
    Facial recognition means yet another big brother feature.
    I'm out.

    What's the best dumb flip-phone these days? I don't even want texting or a camera. Just a flip phone with good audio quality and a battery that lasts a week or more.

    • Re:Great (Score:4, Informative)

      by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:20AM (#54913063) Homepage

      What's the best dumb flip-phone these days?

      Tin can and string.

    • It will never be bezel-less. Not that it can't be done technically, but because there will ALWAYS be a fucking case on it!!

      It's called gravity and insurance. Deal

    • Re:Great (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dog-Cow ( 21281 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:19AM (#54913425)

      Apple already addressed the holding problem in iOS 11. Jobs may be dead, but that doesn't mean all the engineers and designers are drooling idiots. That's reserved for slashdot.

      • Apple already addressed the holding problem in iOS 11. Jobs may be dead, but that doesn't mean all the engineers and designers are drooling idiots. That's reserved for slashdot.

        Ya, but essentially, Jobs was the QA guy who had the power to tell the engineers and designers that something didn't ship till every little thing was fixed. I doubt their current QA manager has that power.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      No bezel means you have to have zero-fat fingers to hold it.

      You are right but this is a UI problem, not a hardware problem;
      It is totally possible to make the edges of the screen inactive. Call it a virtual bezel if you want.
      Or better : make the edges active only if the action crosses the inner area. This way it will protect you from accidental input but you can use the edges for swipes and drag-and-drop.
      I don't know how it would do in practice but when it comes to touch-based interaction, Apple is unmatched, so I am confident they will do it right. And I am not an A

    • If that's all you wanted, why the fuck did you even look at a smart phones in the first place? Fucking majority of people don't buy what they need.
  • Looks like apple (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    has been putting in quite of bit of overtime copying other companies.

  • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:21AM (#54913071) Homepage

    Those prefacing the iPhone 8's arrival with "X already done here, Y already done there" are once again missing the point.

    People don't buy Apple products because they're the first to market with an insignificant number of less than excellently integrated features.

    People buy Apple products because when it's implemented in an iPhone/Mac/other it's done _well_ and can be bought in the tens of millions.

    The original iPod was mocked upon it's release for not having the "essential features" some geeks considered essential yet sold in the hundreds of millions.

    Same with the iPhone.

    • The original iPod was mocked upon it's release for not having the "essential features" some geeks considered essential yet sold in the hundreds of millions.

      Same with the iPhone.

      Good for Apple and their shareholders back then.
      I'm still glad I never bought and iPod or any other overpriced MP3 player on which I can't just drag and drop files and play them.

      • Drag and drop files? You're still managing your music as files? Ever heard of metadata and playlists? You don't know what you're missing.

        • You are clearly misinformed if you think not being able to drag and drop files is a requirement to be able to support playlists.

        • I really wish I could! Yesterday, I was transfering music b/w iTunes on my PC, and my iPod nano. It was a pain: maybe it's easier on a mac. But when I wanted to delete certain songs from the iPod, I couldn't: I had to 'delete' it from my laptop, and then sync the iPod to the laptop w/o transfering the songs I wanted to delete, and only in that convoluted way did it work. Say what you will about Windows, but when I want to transfer songs from my laptop to my Lumia, all I have to do is drag and drop file

          • Simply switch iTunes/your iPod to "manage songs and playlists manually". Then you can pick the songs, playlists and smart playlists that you want synced one by one.

            • I did. Didn't get those options. Whole exercise was a pain. Might have been different due to the file systems and had I owned a Mac, don't know
        • Meta data and play lists are not actual music files. Wtf are you talking about? Go away. Let the adults speak.
      • Apple is far from the only "Mp3 media player company" that required some sort of music manager to update the library. It used to drive me nuts too, because I just wanted to drag and drop my MP3s and go.

        But, judging from all of the cars that I've driven that support USB memory sticks or SD card media, I grudgingly must admit they were probably right in requiring that a database be kept up to date by an update tool rather than by the player itself. I've yet to see even a modern car "flat file" MP3 player t

        • Sounds like a "let's make it crap for the masses for the special case where a DB is useful".
          How about letting the users choose whether they want to use iTunes to manage their library or not?

          My car plays MP3 on USB just fine. No, I don't have thousands of files on it. But I wouldn't want to have to click "next" thousands of times either.

          Then, when people ask how to get their large library to work well, the answer is almost always to connect an iPod to the USB port

          If you do that, chances are it won't play since the host needs to speak Apple's proprietary protocol. And no, the solution isn't for all the world to bend over and support Ap

    • I tend to agree.
      For me the question is though: for how much longer?
      You refer to the first iPhone. And rightfully so. It was a complete game changer. Even to the extend that some didn't even get it.
      But most of us saw it for what it was: the future.

      But now the iPhone seems to be locked in a feature race with other phone makers *cough*Samsung*cough*. A race it seems to be slowly losing. Until now the iPhone users have been very loyal though and are dutifully paying the premium prices (although the top of the l

      • Or would it just mean that the whole update cycle with people standing in line for the privilege of spending â1.000 is over for everyone?

        That's been over for me for some time. My current phone is a Samsung Galaxy S5. I don't see any real need to update it anytime soon. I can swap batteries, have a 128GB SD card in it and it does more than I need it to. I would probably still have my S3 if it hadn't started having issues.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I think its basically going to follow the PC pricing trajectory, but more slowly, as the phone makers control the entire form factor and user interface because its a contained product in a single package, so they can tweak any element of it endlessly and string out the perception of difference longer.

        But long term, I think phones are already hitting the point of maximum useful utility and that the past couple of years has been nothing more than nibbling at the margins to create the perception of change. Mo

      • by phayes ( 202222 )

        How long they can go from success to success is indeed Apple's biggest challenge and nobody knows how long it can continue. Yet their % of repeat customers is still by far the highest in the industry (absent some irrelevant niche players) & it isn't because they're a "visionary product" but because people prefer how they work/how they're supported.

        I've got both an iPhone & an Android phone & justify the iPhone through it's better integrated design & security features & longer lasting lif

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      because when it's implemented in an iPhone/Mac/other it's done _well_

      bahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Look I ahhahahahahahahh oh man I can't even hahahahhahahahahah respond to that hahahahhahahahaha.

      +5 funny man. I can't wait to see what a bezel less screen done right looks like. hahahahaha. I guess it will fold space time on itself using it's reality distortion powers hahahah.

      Oh man, I feel like buying tickets to your show.

      • by phayes ( 202222 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:47AM (#54913595) Homepage

        Apple sees your teeny tiny titters and laughs and laughs and laughs on their way to selling to people who do indeed care about design in 10s of millions of devices. But of course, for you that's just a sign of how deluded _they_ must be given that _they_ do not agree with _you_.

        • Oh you hit the nail on the head while completely missing the point.

          Apple sells designs.

          They do not sell quality / perfectly working / latest technology. Just designs.
          They used to do a lot of those others, but those days disappeared when someone prominent thought that herbal tea was better than getting their cancer treated.

          • They sell an experience, one that you, your grandma and Dog all need. It's the greatest thing since sliced bread... To me, the whole turning point was the Mac vs PC commercials that made them cool to buy. I know of no one with an iPhone that buys it for features, they buy it because their friends have it, or someone told them to buy it. They have the best marketing. Full stop.
    • They're pointing out that it's been done before because when Apple did do something first and other companies followed up with the same or similar features on their products, the chorus of Apple fans declared that they were copying Apple, that they were followers not innovators, and that they should be sued to stop them from copying. You can't have it both ways. You can't argue that when other companies do it it's copying, but when Apple does it it's properly implementing a feature.

      The argument by most
      • by phayes ( 202222 )

        Apple didn't attempt to "halt progress", they sued Samsung because Samsung took the easy way out and cloned the iPhone instead of coming up with their own minimally self inspired designs. Samsung even baldly admitted that they cloned the iPhone as closely as possible during discovery!

        Now that Samsung & others have moved on to designs that aren't mere clones of iPhones (and 'inspiration" is a 2-way street), wow, hey, no more suits - except for the occasional Chinese clone that once again copies blindly.

        I

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Those prefacing the iPhone 8's arrival with "X already done here, Y already done there" are once again missing the point.

      People don't buy Apple products because they're the first to market with an insignificant number of less than excellently integrated features.

      Those who think people are buying the Iphone because it has excellently integrated features couldn't have missed the point further if they were facing in the completely wrong direction and the point was in another country altogether.

      In 2012, it was revealed that 4 out of every 5 Iphone purchases was made by someone who previously owned an Iphone. I'm willing to bet that statistic would now be closer to 19 out of every 20.

      People are buying the iphone because they are emotionally attached, financially i

  • Can't wait until we see governments unlocking phones with a photograph of you, now, if this turns out to be true. Do people not think of this shit before they make it? Whatever happened to actually useful ecosystems, like automatic back-ups, easier to use email, "it just works", and all the crap people used to buy Apple products for?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Steve Jobs died.... The iOS interface has become increasingly cluttered and clunky too. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the demanding, exacting mind of Steve Jobs.

      • Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the demanding, exacting mind of Steve Jobs.

        There is, but it's not Tim Cook. The substitute, IMHO, should have been Scott Forstall but he was fired from the company. Just watch him in past Keynote videos.

        Now we have an industrial designer in charge of software interfaces. And we have the mess we have today: buttons with no outlines, pastel colours, folder tags only visible by people with 20/20 vision, thin fonts which are hard to read on retina displays and an unread

    • Are you saying that they're likely not to use some type of extra-visible patterning, like Windows Hello, which cannot be unlocked with a photo?

    • Can't wait until we see governments unlocking phones with a photograph of you, now, if this turns out to be true.

      Can't wait until someone starts a collection of faces, removed from the fronts of the skulls of former iphone owners. Sure, he could remove the entire head, but a face folds up neatly to fit in your pocket.

      And you thought removing fingers was bad?

  • I'd trade it all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @10:34AM (#54913143)
    for a removable battery & a headphone socket
    • You forgot SD/microSD slot and regular microUSB connector.

    • I bought my removable battery from Anker, and I take it (and its short tethering cable) along with me on my 1% of excursions that aren't near an electrical outlet. My removable battery is so clever that it can also charge my watch, tablet, and my buddy's Android. It also has the amazing design characteristic of adding zero additional hardware to my phone in the 99% of trips when I don't want or need it. How cool is that!

      I'm meh on the headphone socket. Yeah, it was nice. But yeah, I prefer Bluetooth audio s

      • What the fuck are you talking about? Do you actually mean a portable charger, not a removable battery? They are not the same.
        • You're right: a portable charger serves my needs better than a removable battery would, for the reasons I describe.

          As much as I've heard the clamor for removable batteries in iPhones over the years, I've yet to see a scenario where they're actually the best solution for the task at hand. It's a classic XY Problem [xyproblem.info] to me, where people really want to do things a certain way even if there are alternatives that may be better for them.

  • After Apple had the "courage" to remove the 3.5mm Jack last year, they will most probably remove the Fingerprint sensor this time it seems. Not only that, but they replaced it with an technology which existed for more than 4 years on Android. Another way to save 20$ on an >1000$ device. Nice!
    • Because there is only one way to implement facial recognition on a mobile device, and it can never be improved upon.

      Being first isn't everything, no matter what fanboys of $BRAND tell you. Is Apple's implementation better? Nobody knows, outside of Apple.

  • Who cares what they add (well, mostly 'cause they don't really do that anymore), what we're all dying to hear is what plug gets removed this time.

  • Security (Score:4, Insightful)

    by puddingebola ( 2036796 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:22AM (#54913445) Journal
    Will they solve the problem of circumventing this technology with a photo of the person? Will law enforcement officials unlock your phone by holding it up to your face? When will they add a self destruct button for my phone?
    • When will they add a self destruct button for my phone?

      Factory reset works on the phone as well as remotely. Making it literally explode would be a wee bit problematic from the legal angle.

    • Re:Security (Score:5, Informative)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @11:50AM (#54913617)

      This is a solved problem only repeated by Samsung's NIH approach. Android's default approach already requires an extra element (the user to blink), but that has also been defeated by flicking rapidly between pictures of a person with eyes open and with eyes closed. However many other vendors have taken an option to only scan on the IR spectrum. E.g. The Surface devices can't be defeated with a photograph, video or similar things. But I will bet you a Marsbar that apple doesn't do it because that would add yet another "unsightly" blemish to it's sacred front bezel in the form of another dot (IR LED) that you can see when you hold the device at a certain angle.

      Mind you face-unlock doesn't work for anything secure on many devices. E.g. you can't use Samsung Pay or encryption with face-unlock.

    • Will they solve the problem of circumventing this technology with a photo of the person?

      I thought the idea was to have multiple front-facing cameras to get more of a 3D image of a person's face. If so, wouldn't that prevent a 2D photo from working? Still, I suppose someone could make a 3D model of your face. I'm not sure facial recognition can get around that problem, unless the facial recognition is able to scan for some level of detail that can't normally be reproduced.

      Will law enforcement officials unlock your phone by holding it up to your face?

      Any biometric ("something you are") is susceptible to this sort of thing. For a finger print scanner, what's to stop the

  • by careysub ( 976506 ) on Monday July 31, 2017 @12:07PM (#54913735)

    Brilliant. To solve the non-problem of having a small bezel-case they will bring the glass screen to the very edge of the device to ensure that when you do drop it, even a short distance, it will shatter the screen.

    Why is it that Apple execs think that the ultimate ideal form for every device is to be wafer-thin and all glass, sacrificing every other design consideration for that single obsession?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Why is it that Apple execs think that the ultimate ideal form for every device is to be wafer-thin and all glass, sacrificing every other design consideration for that single obsession?

      Apple execs are using scifi media as a road map where the end goal is a thin transparent device or a holographic popup display projected by the apple watch.

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