iPhone 8 secrets leaked? Face ID, new AirPods and more

An alleged leak reveals many features expected to be unveiled at Apple's Sept. 12 event, including new AirPods and animated emojis that react to your expressions.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
2 min read

Will Apple's upcoming iPhone let you turn yourself into an animated monkey when messaging friends? Let's just say you wouldn't exactly be bananas if you said yes.

That's one of several new software and hardware features being dissected on social media following an alleged leak of the final build of iOS 11, the mobile operating system that'll run the iPhone. News of the leak, along with images, comes courtesy of 9to5Mac and iOS developers Steve Troughton-Smith and Guilherme Rambo. Rambo and Troughton-Smith are the same coders who extracted previously unannounced details from a similarly premature firmware update for the new HomePod smart speaker in late July. 

iPhone 8 rumors: 37 concepts, cases and leaked photos

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If this new leak is the real deal, it pre-empts a significant number of the surprises we'd otherwise get during Tuesday's big unveiling of new iPhones. The new high-end, possibly $1,000 iteration of Apple's world famous gadget will feature, among other things, animated versions of emoji characters for iMessage, along with Face ID -- what seems to be the official name for the tech that'll let you unlock your phone with a simple face scan. The gadget will also apparently be called the iPhone X (presumably to mark the device's 10th anniversary).

Here's a summary of what this alleged iOS 11 firmware suggests will be shown off when Tuesday rolls around:

Watch this: The last word before Apple's iPhone event (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy, Ep. 99)

Face ID

As mentioned, this seems to be the official moniker for technology that'll let you unlock the iPhone just by letting it scan your face. A leaked setup animation suggests you'll have to present Face ID with more than one angle of your kisser to get it to unlock the phone. That dovetails with the rumors that the home button -- and Touch ID -- will be removed from the high-end iPhone.

Revised AirPods

An animation shows what appears to be a minor revision to Apple's megapopular wireless headphones. The tweak seems to involve moving the charging indicator light to the outside of the charging case, so you don't have to open the thing to see if your AirPods have power.


Think emojis that are possessed not by the devil, but by you. They'll reportedly tap the new iPhone's face-scanning technology to let you create what Apple calls "custom animated messages that use your voice and reflect your facial expressions." It seems the animoji menagerie will count among its members a monkey, a cat, a dog, a fox, a panda, a unicorn, a robot and, of course, a pile of poop (so your friends can say, "Gee, you look really crappy today").

Apple didn't respond to a request for comment on the alleged iOS 11 leak.

You can check out our iPhone 8 rumor roundup here. And here's more on what the new phone may or may not be called.

Apple event: What we expect at the big Sept. 12 iPhone (and more) launch.

Goodbye, home button? Get ready for the iPhone's biggest change ever.