Apple’s iPhone 8 will be announced on September 12th if recent rumors are to be believed, and it looks set to be the biggest change to the iPhone lineup in some time.
While the hardware will undoubtedly receive a big refresh, as a result Apple will make some considerable changes to how iOS functions. The new form factor of the iPhone 8 dictates it.
You would need to have been living on Mars to not know that the iPhone 8 will ditch the Home / Touch ID button for the first time while also sporting a new bezel-less OLED display with a notch at the top, housing 3D facial recognition and other sensors along the front facing camera while the display continues to the left and right of it. These two changes will mean iOS too will need to adapt, and a new report by Bloomberg sheds some light on exactly how that will happen. Starting with that display, it now appears clear that the clock will live to the left side of the notch with things like the WiFi and cellular strength indicators to the right. This is also where the battery life indicator will be, which makes sense given the size requirements of that clock over to the left.
The really interesting news comes with regards to the lack of a Home/Touch ID button. This is understandably something that requires a rethink as to how iOS handle user requests to do things like move back to the Home screen or activate the multitasking app switcher. According to Bloomberg, these actions will be achieved by varying degrees of swipes up from the bottom of the screen. When locked, the iPhone 8 will have a small strip called “software bar” that can act as a handle, with users swiping it upwards to unlock the device. When in use, a similar swipe will cause the iPhone to return to the Home screen while a shorter swipe would invoke the multitasking app switcher.
(iOS 11 apps on iPhone 8 to embrace the “notch” on top. Concept by @stroughtonsmith in collaboration with @charavel)
This is similar to how iOS 11 already works in beta form when installed on an iPad. This alone will be quite a change for those of us used to Home buttons, but as with everything in life it will only be a matter of time before the swiping gestures will become second nature.
If Apple does announce the iPhone 8 alongside the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus on September 12th, then we are just a couple of weeks away from having all of our questions answered for good. This latest Bloomberg report gives us out best insight into what to expect yet, but we still expect to learn new things come announcement day.
Thanks to @talkaboutdesign, we also get a good look at how different parts of iOS UI and apps would look like on the iPhone 8, based on the Bloomberg report:
An example of how the floating dock could function on the iPhone 8 can be seen in video from Guilherme Rambo, incorporating the same swipe gestures as mentioned earlier.
This is also interesting pic.twitter.com/JdYDhZDkev
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 21, 2017
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