If you live in hope of seeing an iPhone 8 arrive this year with an expanded edge-to-edge screen, a pair of iPhone renders making the rounds show just what Apple could do with the extra screen space — if the renders turn out to be legit, that is.
The more interesting render comes from Twitter user OnLeaks, who routinely posts reported leaks about upcoming phones. BGR, which reported on the OnLeaks post, says the CAD drawing is based on reported iPhone specs out of Foxconn, which assembles Apple's phones.
The CAD drawing shows the back of the iPhone 8 with vertically stacked rear cameras. More significant is what isn't there — a fingerprint reader for Apple's Touch ID sensor.
Touch ID has been the source of much speculation recently, as some analysts have reported that Apple is having a hard time producing phones with the fingerprint reader under the device's expanded screen. On current iPhones, the Touch ID sensor lives underneath the home button, but with the iPhone 8 reportedly adopting a bezel-reducing display, the home button is likely to become a virtual one on Apple's next phone, necessitating the need to find a new place for Touch ID.
Earlier renders had suggested that the sensor could move to the back of the phone, something Samsung did with the Galaxy S8. But that makes the sensor less convenient to use. Other rumors have suggested Apple could add other security feature like iris scanning or facial recognition to let you unlock the iPhone 8.
It's worth pointing out that OnLeak's tweet doesn't include a new location for the TouchID sensor. And the leaker notes that he can't confirm the validity of this render. Still, any sign that Apple won't move Touch ID to the back of its phone is a welcome one.
Another render making the rounds doesn't appear to be based on any leak; rather it's just an iPhone 8 concept commissioned by iDropNews. But it does a pretty good job of illustrating how a rumored function area might look on the iPhone 8.
The idea of a function area first popped in February, courtesy of KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The idea is that the bottom of the iPhone's screen would feature a set of always on-controls that would let you operate the device. The controls would adjust based on the app you're using, similar to how the Touch Bar on Apple's latest MacBook Pro operates.
iDropNews's renders, credited to Benjamin Geskin, show exactly that concept. When browsing web pages in Safari, the controls include back and forward buttons as well as bookmark icon and a tool for sharing links. In other instances, the virtual buttons shift to music playback buttons or phone controls depending on what you're using the phone. Basically, it looks like a more condensed and elegant version of iOS 10's Control Center, which you currently access by swiping up on on your iPhone.
It's not an official feature, and the renders seem based more on speculation than confirmed details, but it still shows just how a larger screen could change the way you interact with your iPhone.