BRIEF: What the HomePod Code Can Tell Us About Apple’s Next iPhone

First unveiled at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, the HomePod represents the next branch in Apple’s product line.BRIEF: What the HomePod Code Can Tell Us About Apple's Next iPhone It’s aimed at competing with devices like Amazon’s Echo, offering users what is essentially an immobile robot assistant – you can ask it to play music, to dim connected smart lights, even to offer a traffic update ahead of a routine commute.

It could prove a useful tool to Apple customers when it’s launched later this year, but it’s already proving useful to fans and industry analysts speculating about Apple’s next big iPhone. That’s because the firmware code of the HomePod has been released, and because of planned interactivity between the HomePod and the iPhone, various snippets of the code offer hints about the features of Apple’s next flagship device.

Here’s what the HomePod trove has told us so far about the iPhone 8:

Its home button will be virtual, not physical:

Home Button to Go Virtual on Next iPhone

It will support multi-factor authentication:

Multi-Factor Hint in HomePod Code Suggests Apple Won’t Ditch Touch ID for the iPhone 8

It will be able to recognize your face…

Apple’s HomePod Code Seems to Refer to iPhone Facial Recognition

Facial Recognition Coming to Apple Pay, Suggest HomePod Code Findings

… Even if you’re not even holding it:

The iPhone 8 Could Be Able To Recognize You Even If It’s Just Lying On A Table

And it can use your face to verify payments:

Facial Recognition Coming to Apple Pay, Suggest HomePod Code Findings

It’s important to remember that this is still just speculation, albeit a particularly well-founded variety, given its source. But big questions remain, including the rather important one of whether the iPhone 8 will feature Touch ID in the display – or at all. Those answers will come, and maybe even before the device is officially announced, if the HomePod code leaks keep up.