When Apple released the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, it was received with mixed reactions. Many applauded the Cupertino based company for the innovations it was making, while others criticized the units for the exact same thing. The tech giant is looking to turn all these negative views to the light, starting with a more effective physical user interface.
Forbes discusses a patent that was issued just earlier this week, which indicates Apple's plan to change up the physical UI in the iPhone 8. Because of this, the unit is expected to sport curved glass on both its front and back, thereby forming a curved edge-to-edge screen. What logically results is a unit that is free from all physical buttons.
And while the idea is quite futuristic, it begs to have one particular question answered: What will happen to the Touch ID? Apparently, Apple has been hard at work to incorporate this piece of technology behind the screen. Currently, identification through fingerprint is still the best and most secure way of unlocking various products and applications.
The patent for such, which Apple titled "Capacitive fingerprint sensor including an electrostatic lens," was first filed in 2014 and was only recently published. The document outlines a process that will embed a Touch ID sensor under the screen's actual display. It also details exactly how the capacitive sensors will be able to read a user's specific fingerprint.
As BGR notes, this button-less design will allow Apple to manufacture the iPhone 8 in a much smaller scale. The publication argues that the current features of the iPhone 7 Plus - a better camera, more RAM than its predecessors and a larger battery - require a relatively large space. However, the lack of bevels and a home button would allow the incorporation of these without the same space requirement.
In order to further take advantage of this design possibility, Apple might also let go of its current port. This includes the already controversial Lightning port, which acts as the charging port and the audio jack. If this proves true, Apple will need to master wireless charging and further perfect its AirPods.