Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone 8 is now believed to launch with a new feature that would automatically mute notification sounds when the user is looking at the device’s display. This is the latest discovery made after some more digging into the HomePod’s firmware. 

This Wednesday, iOS developer Guilherme Rambo took to Twitter to share what he found after looking into the Apple HomePod’s firmware. While he was sifting through the codes of the Apple smart speaker’s software, he apparently spotted a line that pertains to a new feature that could suppress notification sounds. 

The line of code Rambo pointed out in his tweet (TLAttentionAwarenessObserver supportsAttenuatingTonesForAttention) is very self-explanatory. It indicates that when the device detects the user consciously observing its screen, the sounds of the notifications are attenuated or weakened. On the other hand, MacRumors’ interpretation of the code suggests that notification sounds are “muted” when infrared depth sensors notice the user giving full attention to the phone. 

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This new feature is seen as an extension of the iPhone 8’s facial recognition technology. The upcoming flagship is rumored to feature such an advanced biometric authentication system, so it will not come as a surprise if Apple uses the same technology to carry out this newly discovered feature. Besides, another code uncovered from the HomePod firmware by iHelp BR points at the iPhone 8’s capacity to scan the face of the user even when the handset is lying flat on a table.

By the looks of it, the notification sound-suppressing feature could be optional. Hence, users could just switch it off when they feel like enabling notification sounds. Interestingly, the feature is believed to debut on the OLED iPhone only and not on the other two installments — iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus — that are also launching later this fall. 

Meanwhile, it’s already been more than a week since Apple made the HomePod firmware briefly available to developers. Nevertheless, more discoveries and new information about upcoming Apple hardware releases have been trickling in. 

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IBT previously reported that the HomePod firmware was found to contain information about the iPhone 8’s capability to record 4K videos at 60 frames-per-second. The string of codes pertaining to this feature also contains words like “front” and “back,” so they are taken as a hint that both the front-facing and back cameras of the handset are capable of recording 4K videos. 

The firmware has also outed the tidbit that the iPhone 8 will have a 2436x1125 screen resolution, which is way bigger than the 1920x1080 resolution of last year’s iPhone 7 Plus. Nonetheless, it is important to note that although HomePod’s firmware has revealed numerous information about the iPhone 8, there is still no guarantee that all of these will end up in the official device that will be unveiled this September alongside the other two iPhone installments and other Apple hardware releases.