iOS 11 Teases Key iPhone 8 Feature

Apple might be an exceedingly secretive company that doesn't like to reveal things ahead of time, but every now and then, it slips. And it might have just happened again.

Credit: BGR/YouTube

(Image credit: BGR/YouTube)

The folks over at 9to5Mac have published a video showcasing some new features in iOS 11 Beta 4. Chief among those features is a new tool on the lock screen. When tap on a notification to open an app, Apple displays a Touch ID fingerprint sensor icon and tells you to use Touch ID (or a passcode) to access the app.

As BGR points out, Apple's decision to place a Touch ID pop-up in its platform and feature it so prominently could be telling. And it might suggest that Touch ID isn't getting replaced with 3D face scanning, as some reports have claimed.

The iPhone 8's fingerprint sensor has been the subject of debate for the last several months. Some reports have said that Apple will bundle a virtual fingerprint sensor in the device, allowing you to simply press your finger against the screen to unlock the software and activate Apple Pay.

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However, several reports have also said that Apple is having trouble getting the feature to work and will instead rely on a physical Touch ID button that would sit on its rear panel. Still others have said Apple might opt for a Touch ID sensor on a power button on its side.

The BGR report suggests that Apple's decision to call out Touch ID and feature it prominently in the latest iOS 11 beta suggests a physical sensor is coming. And like its predecessor, it'll be named Touch ID.

While that's certainly possible, it's also possible for Apple to call its virtual sensor Touch ID. The company might also remove the Touch ID callout in the iPhone 8 model and only display it in legacy devices that don't have a virtual sensor.

Ultimately, we'll have these and many other questions revealed in September, when Apple is expected to unveil its flagship smartphone.

Don Reisinger is CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.