A firmware leak for the Apple HomePod has already revealed that the upcoming generation of Apple’s iPhone might use ‘SmartCam’ AI to adjust to different scenes on the fly. But that’s not the only gem developers have managed to dig out of the code. Further analysis of the source code has now found that at least one of the new models might also be capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second on both front and rear cameras, making it the first smartphone to offer this video specification.
The function is mentioned in a section of code related to the HEVC, or H.265 video codec that will be included in both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, both due out this fall. HEVC is capable of maintaining high levels of image quality while using advanced compression algorithms to keep the file size down. This allows for 4K video capability to be installed in devices with limited storage or processing power.
Considering Apple’s current FaceTime front cameras only offer a 7MP stills resolution and 1080p video this would mean a huge jump in performance. The image sensor would need a bump in resolution, but presumably Apple’s new chipset will provide enough processing power to crunch the large amounts of data generated when shooting video at 4K resolution and fast frame rates.