Apple's Craig Federighi: Uncertainty About Face ID Will 'Melt Away' Once People Get iPhone X
Sep 15, 2017 6:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi today joined Daring Fireball's John Gruber on an episode of The Talk Show, where he likened uncertainties over Face ID to the concerns that customers expressed when Touch ID first launched in 2013 in the iPhone 5s.
Honestly, we're just all counting the days that customers can finally get their hands on these. Because I think just like with Touch ID, initially people thought oh, 'Apple's done something that's totally not going to work and I'm not a believer and I'm not gonna use this feature.'

Now everyone's worried because they can't imagine life without Touch ID. We're going to see exactly the same thing with Face ID.
In a discussion that revisited the on-stage gaffe that saw Face ID fail to authenticate his face during Tuesday's event, Federighi said he was shocked when it happened because the feature normally "just works." He went on to say he understands the uncertainty, but that it will "melt away" once people experience the product. "You don't even think about it," he said.


Federighi went on to say that as much as Apple loves Touch ID, Face ID is "that much better." He confirmed that Apple believes Face ID is the future of biometric authentication, with the caveat that there are settings where different biometric techniques or combinations of biometrics could make sense.

Much of the rest of the discussion covered the same topics that were discussed in Federighi's earlier interview with TechCrunch. Federighi reiterated that most sunglasses work with Face ID, aside from some that have coatings that block infrared. One way around that, he says, is to turn off the "attention aware" feature that requires eye contact for Face ID to unlock.

He also explained why users need to swipe to get past the lock screen of the iPhone X, rather than it opening directly with a facial scan - it's so you can still glimpse at the time, check your notifications, or get to the flashlight without the iPhone opening up to the Home screen. The swipe and scan are simultaneous with no real waiting period or delay.

One last little tidbit -- with the feature that allows you to disable Face ID temporarily by pressing the side button and the volume buttons, it also takes a screenshot because the gestures are the same. Apple's looking into fixing that by deleting the screenshot when a press and hold gesture is detected.

Federighi's full interview with John Gruber can be listened to on The Talk Show.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Tag: Face ID
Buyer's Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

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23 weeks ago
"Peoples faces will melt away once they see the iPhone X"
Rating: 73 Votes
23 weeks ago
It’s uncanny how similar this has been to 2013 with the initial Touch ID launch.

Can’t wait to start using Face ID instead of Touch ID.
Rating: 62 Votes
23 weeks ago
What about the notch? Will that melt away too ?
Rating: 54 Votes
23 weeks ago
Don't expect Apple haters to get the actual device to actually experience the things they complain about. They have a narrative, they won't change their minds about the hate they have.
Rating: 44 Votes
23 weeks ago
The media is designed to over-react and exaggerate to get more people to go to their web-articles and see annoying advertisements.
Rating: 42 Votes
23 weeks ago
I thought the idea of getting rid of the floppy drive was insane, then I thought getting rid of the optical drive was insane. Now I think getting rid of touch ID is insane. I assume I'm wrong again.
Rating: 39 Votes
23 weeks ago
“Combinations of biometrics”
My prediction: they’re still working on under-glass TouchID. Users will have the choice of being authenticated with TouchID, FaceID, or both. With the option of both, they can tout having biometric security that only 1 in 50 billion could fool. (1 in 50,000 for TouchID times 1 in 1,000,000 for FaceID)
Rating: 25 Votes
23 weeks ago
Has Apple ever claimed to introduce anything that's not "perfect" or "magical"?
Rating: 19 Votes
23 weeks ago

It’s uncanny how similar this has been to 2013 with the initial Touch ID launch.

Can’t wait to start using Face ID instead of Touch ID.


It's like this with every new technology... Mac, iPhone, Apple Watch, and even iPhone X. Instead of keeping an open mind, some people's first instinct is to assume the worst and try to discredit it. They never learn.

The dumbest thing I've read has to be, what if a robber forces you to unlock it by looking at it. What???? How is that any different than a robber putting a gun to your head and asking for your passcode or forcing you to unlock it with Touch ID? SMH
Rating: 17 Votes
23 weeks ago
Not going to lie, at first I was one who didn't want Face ID, but now after seeing it in use and understanding much better how it works I can say I think this will be better than Touch ID. It will only get better from here as well. I think in future iterations of this once Apple has perfected face scanning, they will also incorporate iris scanning. Then they will also bring back Touch ID in an advanced form.
Rating: 16 Votes

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