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Iphone Software The Almighty Buck Apple Technology Hardware

Apple's iPhone 8 To Replace Touch ID Home Button With 'Function Area' (appleinsider.com) 114

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Apple Insider: Apple will ditch the home button when it debuts a new 'iPhone 8' model later this year, and will dedicate the extra screen real estate to an area for virtual buttons, according to KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Adding detail to his previous predictions regarding the next-generation handset, Kuo in a note to investors obtained by AppleInsider said the full-screen design will allow Apple to integrate a "function" area never seen in an iPhone. The device is expected to adopt a 5.8-inch OLED panel in a form factor similar to the current 4.7-inch iPhone 7. Despite having extended screen real estate as compared to current iPhone models, the actual active display area on "iPhone 8" will be closer to 5.15 inches on the diagonal, with the remaining bottom portion dedicated to system functions like virtual buttons. While Kuo failed to elaborate on an exact implementation, the note suggests Apple plans to hardcode a set of always-on, static system controls into iOS. Whether the so-called "function area" is capable of switching to an active display mode for in-app activities like watching videos or playing games, remains to be seen. With the deletion of current Touch ID technology, Kuo believes "iPhone 8" will incorporate new bio-recognition assets to take over device security and Apple Pay authentication duties. The analyst did not offer predictions on the type of biometric tech Apple intends to use, but a report earlier today said the company could integrate a 3D laser scanning module capable of facilitating facial recognition and augmented reality applications. Kuo in a note last month said Apple might integrate a dual biometric system utilizing optical fingerprint readers and facial recognition hardware.
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Apple's iPhone 8 To Replace Touch ID Home Button With 'Function Area'

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  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @09:04AM (#53879151) Homepage Journal

    Once again the latest iPhone introduces revolutionary new ideas Android has had for years.

    • Still, it means /. gets to fill up it's front page.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Yeah, although I guess they will claim it's based on the touchbar on the new Apple laptops. It's about time they did something about having only one button and a lack of standard controls in the UI.

      • Unless they allow the disablement of the biometric shit, and allow good old fashioned passwords....I'm not buying it.
        • I'm sure they'll miss you.

        • Biometrics work awesome for phones.

          Why ? My nieces 3-4 year olds could figure out pins, that stupid android but drawing thing, etc but they can't duplicate my thumb easily. (Yes it isn't that hard but it requires skills and tools not found in most homes)

          The iPhone thumb has a 48 hour timeout where if you haven't typed in your password in 48 hours the thumb doesn't work. Police in the USA can hold you for 24 hours so odds are the police won't be able to unlock your phone and will be locked out by password

          • The iPhone thumb has a 48 hour timeout where if you haven't typed in your password in 48 hours the thumb doesn't work. Police in the USA can hold you for 24 hours so odds are the police won't be able to unlock your phone and will be locked out by password by the time they get around to you.

            The police can force you to physically touch your thumb or other biometric to the phone to open it. They could easily do this within your 48 hours time limit.....

            So far to point, they still cannot pry into your mind to

            • The iPhone thumb has a 48 hour timeout where if you haven't typed in your password in 48 hours the thumb doesn't work. Police in the USA can hold you for 24 hours so odds are the police won't be able to unlock your phone and will be locked out by password by the time they get around to you.

              The police can force you to physically touch your thumb or other biometric to the phone to open it. They could easily do this within your 48 hours time limit.....

              So far to point, they still cannot pry into your mind to get your code(s)....

              That and I just would rather NOT share my fingerprints anymore than I have to, especially with a company....who knows what database that will end up on.

              Fingerprint data never leaves the TouchID Chip built into the Home Button. And I don't think it even keeps an image of the fingerprint(s), per se; just some sort of ID-hashing code.

              • Fingerprint data never leaves the TouchID Chip built into the Home Button. And I don't think it even keeps an image of the fingerprint(s), per se; just some sort of ID-hashing code.

                And you trust them to keep to this...?

                • Fingerprint data never leaves the TouchID Chip built into the Home Button. And I don't think it even keeps an image of the fingerprint(s), per se; just some sort of ID-hashing code.

                  And you trust them to keep to this...?

                  Yes. Yes I do.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          Unless they allow the disablement of the biometric shit, and allow good old fashioned passwords....I'm not buying it.

          Touch ID has always been optional. You're not forced to use it (in fact, you can't enable it without enabling some other more secure authentication first - even a 4 digit PIN is considered more secure).

          I would expect iOS 11 to have a new feature to disable Touch ID quickly - not only after reboot, 48 hours or 3 failed attempts (requiring use of the alternate authentication system) so if the p

        • They do allow for good old-fashioned passwords (of any length). The biometrics just make it so you don't have to enter it more than once a day. Or after restarting (hint hint for those at airport security).

    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @09:46AM (#53879289) Journal
      And hopefully Apple will get it right. My android phone has two "soft" buttons next to a physical home button, and I hate those little fuckers. It's entirely too easy to accidentally press them. Since the screen on the iPhone is pressure sensitive, they better make the buttons react to a forceful push rather than a touch, but they probably will; they usually pay a lot of attention to this stuff.
      • My android phone has two "soft" buttons next to a physical home button, and I hate those little fuckers.

        Other device did it better :

        - more recent android device have no physical button or touch zone, just a bigger screen. It's either 3 clickable button displayed at the bottom of the screen.
        Or full screen, with the button appearing if you touch the screen (used for gaming and movie watching). They are handled by the same code that handles most UI button on the OS, so a little bit better handled than the "a fly could click on it" older softbutton you mention.

        - before that, Palm/HP WebOS used to produced device

      • So you blame Android but you mention a problem with your very specific implementation of it. It's quite possible that there are companies other than Apple who have solved this problem.

        but they probably will; they usually pay a lot of attention to this stuff.

        You're assuming that this is a problem for most people that needs to be addressed.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        And hopefully Apple will get it right.

        With Apple's track record of implementing Android features, they'll do it completely wrong.

        I've never encountered an Android phone "doing it wrong", this goes from the first HTC Dream to my latest Nexus 5X. If you're accidentally pressing the soft buttons, you're doing something horribly wrong as they need to be pressed properly to work and have no function if held down too long. In fact, I'd prefer the soft buttons to be more sensitive on my 5X.

    • Borrowing features (Score:1, Insightful)

      by sjbe ( 173966 )

      Once again the latest iPhone introduces revolutionary new ideas Android has had for years.

      We get it. You don't like Apple. We'll all pretend for your benefit that the Android ecosystem hasn't "borrowed" any features from Apple and the Android is the one true system from which all good things originate.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Android manufacturers do not pat themselves on the back and declare it innovative when they implement ideas that came from elsewhere.
      • It's not a question of whether or not someone likes Apple. Many of the "all new, we just created this and it's never been seen before!" additions to iOS have been blatant rip-offs of features in use for Android for months, if not years before Apple claims it is "all new".

        It's the exact sort of crap that Apple would have sued for if the roles were reversed.
        • Both borrow (Score:2, Insightful)

          by sjbe ( 173966 )

          It's not a question of whether or not someone likes Apple.

          Sure it is. Otherwise he wouldn't get any pleasure out of making snarky comments about how some feature in an Apple product was done somewhere else first despite the fact that very few people actually care.

          Many of the "all new, we just created this and it's never been seen before!" additions to iOS have been blatant rip-offs of features in use for Android for months, if not years before Apple claims it is "all new".

          Yeah yeah, Apple doesn't do anything new. Blah blah blah. Old argument. Here's the thing. Whether or not Apple is first to market with a given feature is more or less irrelevant. Very few people care if Apple or Samsung or HTC actually put the feature in a product first. What matters is A) whether

          • So which is The One True Ring?

          • Otherwise he wouldn't get any pleasure out of making snarky comments

            For many of us we don't get pleasure about pointing out other people's bullshit. Actually it saddens me a bit that this is "news". Quite the opposite of pleasure.

          • Really? What's stopping the Android handset makers from suing?

            Not patenting trivial utter shit like OMG I CAN SLIDE MY FINGER ON A SCREEN!

      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        We get it. You don't like Apple. We'll all pretend for your benefit that the Android ecosystem hasn't "borrowed" any features from Apple and the Android is the one true system from which all good things originate.

        I think claims that Android stole from Apple tend to be wildly overblown. Now Samsung stealing ideas from Apple? Now you've really got something.

    • It is funny how with Jobs at the helm Apple was the visionary. Windows '95 was basically MacOS '85. Then the iPod hit, with Creative's Nomad and MS's Zune being also-ran's some months/years later. Today we have iPod features years behind competitors.

      Apple went from 10 years ahead to 4-5 years behind. First screen sizes, then the "thin wars", now removing physical buttons in favor of tactile screens. What's next? Slightly larger screen with a Wacom digitizer a-la Samsung Note series?
      • Completely agree. The last time I saw a major leap in iPhone was from 5s to 6, when they brought in Apple Pay, and enlarged the phone a bit, allowing for more icons per screen. Had I bought my phone a bit later when 6 came out, I'd have avoided any upgrades - depending on the storage that I bought.

        I recently upgraded from the 5s to a 7, and the loss of the aux slot hasn't hurt, since I don't use the music aspect of the phone. However, that's the last upgrade I've done. I don't plan to ever go w/

        • by nasch ( 598556 )

          Not to be that annoying android fan boy guy but if you had gone with android, you could get a different launcher (the thing that manages the home screen basically) and customize how many icons are on it. Some launchers even completely change the way the home screen works. I'm not saying you should have gone android by the way, you're probably happy with your phone and that's great.

          • I have good news for you. I have 3 phones - one of each type. One iPhone 7, which I described, and which I use for purely personal uses - family, relatives, my doctors, et al. One Moto X w/ Lollipop, which I use for anything work related. I also have a Lumia 550, which I use as a travel phone, and which is actually pretty good.

            On top of that, I have 2 tablets - one iPad mini, and one Verizon Ellipsis 10. The latter, as you can guess, has Lollipop as well, but it recently gave me an update that allow

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, I have to re-register every time I shave in order to use apple pay? Oh, you are wearing a baseball cap, so you have to take that off to pay? Oh, you want to unlock your phone while walking down the street. Better take off your sunglasses... Apple, why you gotta keep losing desired functionality?!?!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm sure they've taken facial hair into account considering their general apple geniuses appearance.

    • by dknj ( 441802 )

      Not gonna happen. They are also incorporating wireless charging. Wireless charging (a) takes a lot of space (relative to a phone) and (b) increases the heat of a battery requiring either a much slower charge or a smaller battery design. So either all of this happens and you are getting a microprocessor with the same speed as an iPhone 7 (think Kaby Lake for phones) or you are not getting all these fancy bells and whistles until the iPhone 8s

      -dk

    • by Freischutz ( 4776131 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @10:34AM (#53879537)

      So, I have to re-register every time I shave in order to use apple pay? Oh, you are wearing a baseball cap, so you have to take that off to pay? Oh, you want to unlock your phone while walking down the street. Better take off your sunglasses... Apple, why you gotta keep losing desired functionality?!?!

      I know that venting your outrage over everything that Apple does is great fun but please do not trash talk facial recognition just because Apple is using it. You are severely underestimating what modern face recognition algorithms can do. If you set out to do it and if this: http://www.webrok.com/news/201... [webrok.com] is your taste in sunglasses, you can certainly screw up facial recognition systems but modern facial recognition software has pretty impressive success rates even with subjects wearing headgear, different hair styles, 'normal' sunglasses or regular eye glasses and obscured faces (beards, scarves, veils). engineers@google.com already tried integrating face recognition login into Android and it turned out to be an embarrassing fail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] because the Android camera could not distinguish between an actual 3D face and a 2D picture of one. Hence the mention of 3D laser scanning module for the new iPhones in the article summary because 3D scanning is what you need for pattern recognition based security features that are hard to fool regardless of whether you are talking about face recognition or fingerprint scanning. On an unrelated note a 3D laser scanning module sounds like a pretty awesome addition to a smartphone for all kinds of reasons having nothing to do with facial recognition and a lot to do with a long standing desire on my part (as, I am sure, many others here) to own a fully functional Start Trek tricorder. A 3D laser scanning module built into your phone would be a major step in that direction. Being able to scan an object on my kitchen table with a smartphone and then sending it to a 3D printer after a short stopover on my laptop to clean up the scan would be nothing short of awesome.

      • You are severely underestimating what modern face recognition algorithms can do.

        I can't speak for the GP, but face recognition should only be able to be called face recognition when it works like nature. ie Humans can recognise a familiar face under all sorts of weird circumstances. But 'modern' facial recognition algorithms still only work under specific circumstances and then only sometimes. How many times has a friend or family member come up to you to say hello and you've responded, "I'm sorry I do not regonise you, please try again?
        We have these AI conversations in here all the

    • Why can't they take your thumb print on the touch screen itself, and match it to whatever is in the database?
  • Great (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can I still use a password?

    I'm unsure if I'm in a minority of people who don't like all this biometrics stuff or the majority are just told to like it.

    • Re:Great (Score:4, Informative)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @09:48AM (#53879299) Journal
      Fingerprint ID on current iPhones is entirely optional. And you still need to set a password in case the scanner fails to recognise you 5 times (or after a reboot)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... reliable update feature. The need to purchase a new phone just to get the latest version of Android is starting to get ridiculous.

    Frankly, I blame Google for open sourcing Android in the first place, instead of keeping it closed source, and providing OEMs with ways to build kernel extensions, and leverage a built-in theme engine.

    The only way Google can fix this mess now is to come up with a new OS, which is "Android compatible". Then again, they'll probably do just that, open source it, and we'll be rig

  • by RogueWarrior65 ( 678876 ) on Thursday February 16, 2017 @11:12AM (#53879737)

    Yesterday, I needed to turn on the iPhone's flashlight and for some bizarre reason, it wouldn't let me swipe up from the bottom of the screen to turn it on. So I asked Siri to do turn it on and she said, "I can't do that." Siriously? A while back, the speedometer cable in my truck broke so I couldn't tell how fast I was going. I asked Siri thinking that she would be able to use the GPS to figure it out. "Hey, Siri, how fast am I going?" She said, "I've been wondering that for a while." Yeah, um, hey Siri, quit being a smartass millenial and do some work.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Siri is seriously lacking. You can use the Harry Potter "light" spells to toggle the flashlight on Android, but you can't toggle it at all on iOS. There are a lot of edge cases where you can do things with Siri but only if you phrase it in the exact correct way. And then there are weird things, like where Siri will let you enter Airplane Mode, which leaves Siri disabled because that kills the Internet connection.

      The funny thing is that for things like your current speed, your iPhone does calculate that. It'

      • I heard that and tried saying "Lumos Maximus" but all Siri wanted to do is search for limousine services in the area. She does know what the fox says even though that's a pretty dated joke.

    • My wife had the same problem on her iPhone - could not swipe up to access the flashlight icon. After considerable futzing I was able to get it working again. I think the swipe up function might have been turned off under Settings -> Control Center, but I can't remember for sure.
  • Make it thinner (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Maritz ( 1829006 )
    If it isn't thinner a lot of people are going to be very, very angry. We need to aim for phones that are effectively invisible when viewed side on. If that means the screen has to go, so be it.

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