When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
This weekend, journalists and developers got their hands on a leaked version of Apple's latest iOS 11 operating system... and found it chock full of details about Apple's next iPhone, Apple Watch and even a new Apple TV.
1. Three iPhones: iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus
One block of code. That's all it took to inject a massive dose of credibility into the biggest rumor around Apple's Tuesday reveal.
Which rumor, you ask? The rumor where Apple will announce *three* new iPhones instead of two -- including an ultra-high-end iPhone with a brand new tall-and-narrow design, a huge OLED screen that covers almost the entire front of the phone, a face-recognizing infrared camera and a price north of $1,000.
The HomePod leak in August all but confirmed that the iPhone X would have a face-recognizing camera sophisticated enough to detect facial expressions, and let you log in to your phone. Internally, it's known as Pearl.
But tomorrow, it'll probably be called Face ID. How do we know? (Press the play button below to play the video.)
3. Face ID will let you pay
Last month, developers couldn't find a single shred of evidence to indicate that you'd use the new face camera to pay for purchases. That would be a little worrying if it's also true -- as rumored -- the new iPhone X will ditch the fingerprint sensor entirely.
But now, iOS developer Jeffrey Grossman has discovered the evidence we've been waiting for: "Unlock iPhone and use Apple Pay with your face instead of a passcode."
How's that for a smoking gun?
But Apple's new Face ID camera isn't just about security. According to the leak, you'll be able to create "custom animated messages that use your voice and reflect your facial expressions."
And they're called animojis.
9to5Mac journalist Benjamin Mayo discovered how they work:
Two of the most reliable Apple leaksters told us it was coming. Now, a cellular Apple Watch that doesn't require a nearby phone is all but certain -- because iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith found pictures in the code of not only the watch itself, but also a status screen showing a cellular strength gauge. (It doesn't technically say LTE, you might note.)
Want more? 9to5Mac's Benjamin Mayo discovered the Apple Watch will probably share a phone number with your iPhone -- so you should be able to take calls on the Watch even if you're away from home.
If it's true that Apple's iPhone X will have a giant front-facing camera module hanging over the top of its all-screen front -- see a mockup at the top of this post -- Apple would need to split the iPhone's status bar right down the center.
Maybe it would look something like this? (Click the images to enlarge.)
As far as we can tell, the only difference is a charging indicator on the outside of the case. (The case, in case you weren't aware, doubles as a battery to charge AirPods on the go.)
9. Apple goes hexacore with monster A11 processor
For the iPhone 7, Apple released its first totally homegrown processor, with four cores it designed itself. Now, it appears the iPhone X will have six new cores. Benchmarks better watch out.
10. Apple could ditch the Lightning port for USB-C
If true, this could be the single biggest coup of the entire leak: Apple swapping from its own proprietary Lightning jack to the increasingly popular USB-C port. (iPhone accessory companies would have to scramble to survive.)
We'd like to see a lot more evidence beforejumping to that conclusion. But if it happens, don't be surprised.