Hidden sound in iOS 11 hints at new charging for iPhone 8

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iOS 11 dark mode
iOS 11 has a lot of secret features.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A new sound file hidden inside iOS 11 may hint at a major new feature coming to the iPhone 8 later this year.

Early rumors claim Apple’s next smartphone will pack inductive charging capabilities when it debuts in the fall. Now it looks like iOS 11 may have confirmed the feature with a new sound file called “engage_power.caf” that’s not being used at all.

The new charging sound is different from the “connect_power.caf” file that is currently used when you connect a Lightning cable to an iPhone or iPad. A YouTuber who discovered the new sound file created a comparison video so you can hear the difference yourself:

The longer sound file sounds a bit more soothing than the current Lightning connection audio file. Apple would likely keep both sound files for the iPhone 8 because it would be able to be charged from both the Lightning port and an inductive charger similar to the one used on Apple Watch.

Before you get too excited about the new sound file, keep in mind that there are already a couple of other unused audio clips in iOS 10 and iOS 11. All of this is purely speculation at this point — it’s totally possible Apple may use something different.

What’s new in iPhone 8 and iOS 11

By adding inductive charging to the iPhone 8, Apple would be able to address one of the biggest complaints users have with the iPhone 7: You can’t charge it and use wired headphones at the same time without a dongle. Some Apple fans hope Apple’s new charging solution will be truly wireless, but analysts predict it will still be a few years before cables can be ditched for good.

iOS 11 definitely brings plenty of new features, though. For a look at some of the unsung features in Apple’s next mobile operating system, watch our video below.