Code Bytes: Apple’s HomePod firmware is full of clues about its next smartphone. Here’s an exhaustive list, from all-screen design to a new SmartCam.

According to Portuguese news site iHelp, it found in the HomePod firmware code that the upcoming iPhone could be capable of shooting 4K videos at 60fps. The interesting bit is that the code suggests that both the front and back cameras will have this ability. It’s a giant leap for Apple, but, the iPhone 8 – the tenth anniversary edition – is expected to get significant upgrades in terms of design and specifications.

 The firmware also suggests that 4K video will support Apple’s new HEVC file type that takes up much lesser space (almost half than before) on your phone – something that was a big pain point with 4K content. The introduction of 60fps makes sense on the rumoured AR feature front as well, as it would help in much better tracking.

Next generation of Apple iPhone is almost a month away and the internet is full of speculations about the device. The latest round of leaks circulating the internet, thanks to the code in the Apple HomePod firmware has provided us with a small glimpse of what we can expect from the much-anticipated device. According to a report by iHelp, iPhone 8 is likely to come with the ability to shoot 4K video at 60 fps using the back as well as the front camera.This new data is revealed in a screenshot of the code from the HomePod firmware which says [CAMCaptureCapabilities isBack4k60VideoSupported]. Also below this code is an exact same reference for the front camera to also support 4K video recording at 60 fps.

The code referring to advance features for the front camera module on the iPhone in nothing out of the ordinary. Around the launch of iPhone 6S, with the launch of iOS 9 had released, a similar piece of code was uncovered. It suggested that the front camera of future phones will be having a panoramic capture, slow motion recording and front flash. However, only one of those things has come to be true for iPhone 6S and iPhone 7.

Just to recall, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus currently support 4K video at 30fps on the rear camera. At the front, the video resolution is limited to 1080p. The iPhone 8 is expected to sport an almost bezel-less OLED display, better waterproofing, wireless charging, A11 chip, and run on iOS 11.

Augmented reality photography

The HomePod firmware also reveals some features and functions of Apple’s big push into augmented reality, which the company announced during its World Wide Developers Conference this year, for the D22 iPhone.References to a depth-sensing front-facing camera were found, likely part of the sensing system used for face recognition, which will enable new camera effects and tricks, including something called “ARFaceAnchor”. Snapchat and many other programs, including the camera apps of Sony smartphones, have long provided masks and other augmented-reality features that can be applied to faces. It appears Apple will ship a system that recognises the face in a selfie and can apply AR effects.

Further digging also revealed a series of lines of code that appear to reference expression detection, tracking the position and shape of the mouth, among other things. Alternatively they could reference AR modifications that can be applied to faces, such as big lips or massive comedy eyes.

Despite rumours of a delay, Apple is expected to announce new iPhones at its yearly September event, with chief executive Tim Cook hinting during an earnings call that everything was on track. We’ll find out exactly what it looks like then.