Apple’s HomePod firmware is still making headlines, with developers continuing to dig deep into the code to uncover secrets. The latest batch of news reveals more details about Face ID and 4K support for the Apple TV.
Portuguese blog iHelp BR recently discovered a few strings with the word Pearl in them such as ‘AXRestingPearlUnlock’ and ‘com.apple.accessibility.resting.pearl.unlock.’ The moniker is widely believed to be the codename for the iPhone 8’s Face ID technology.
Based on the strings, it seems the iPhone 8 will be able to scan a user’s face while it’s resting on a flat surface. This is a big deal, since it means people won’t have to lift up the handset every time they want to unlock it. The discovery also aligns with a July Bloomberg report that talked about the same ability and added that unlocking would take about a few hundred milliseconds.
There are also references to ‘APPS_USING_PEARL’ and ‘PEARL_AUTOLOCK.’ The former hints at apps using Face ID to open up and the latter might block individuals the iPhone doesn’t know. Moving on to the Apple TV, developer Guilherme Rambo has uncovered lines of code that reference 4K video, Dolby Vision, and HDR 10.
Twitter user Marc Bach later pointed out that the strings also featured a reference to the HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) HDR standard. All-in-all, the next-gen Apple TV will be a major upgrade in terms of specs thanks to support for 4K content displayed in 3 HDR modes for improved contrast and colors.
Apple actually gave the game away a few weeks ago when some people found new releases listed in 4K and HDR. The current Apple TV goes up to 1080p in terms of resolution and doesn’t offer HDR support, putting it leagues behind competition.
The new-and-improved Apple TV will probably come out this fall, perhaps in September alongside the iPhone 8, iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and Apple Watch Series 3.