The iOS 12 beta appears to support adding a second face to the Face ID feature, allowing a second person to unlock an iPhone X without entering the passcode. This was discovered and later confirmed by multiple users on Reddit.

Ever since the iPhone X was released last September, Apple's Face ID authentication system has been restricted to recognizing a single person's face to unlock the iPhone X. Though iOS is ostensibly designed as a single-user operating system, this restriction has frustrated some users who wish to allow their partner or other family member to unlock their phone for convenience and sharing purposes.

multiplefacesiphonex
This is possible under the old Touch ID system, which has been around for nearly half-a-decade, because Touch ID allows up to five fingerprints to unlock the iPhone — so it's easy to allow your partner's thumbprint to your iPhone.

With iOS 12, an "Alternative Appearance" mode in Face ID allows iPhone X owners to add an entire second face to Face ID. This means two people can unlock an iPhone X, potentially making it easier for users to share their devices.

The feature doesn't appear to be intended for this purpose. In iOS Settings > Face ID & Passcode, Alternative Appearance is described thusly:

In addition to continuously learning how you look, Face ID can recognize an alternate appearance.

It's likely that Alternative Appearance is designed for people who have difficulty with Face ID because of more significant changes in appearance due to changing wardrobes like glasses or hats — but it has the happy coincidence of supporting a second person as well.

One thing to note is that if Face ID is reset for one "Appearance", it will also reset the other, meaning both users will have to start from scratch with Face ID if the system is reset.

We have reached out to Apple for clarity on what this feature is intended for and whether the side-effect of support for multiple users is expected to continue through the final release of iOS 12 this fall.

Related Forum: iOS 12

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
75 months ago
This is great, but I still need a way to prevent my kids from accessing my iMessages or mail app.

Is that a thing?
Yeah, don't let your kids use your phone.

Or if you do, enable Guided Access so they can't get out of the app they're currently in.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Heckles Avatar
75 months ago
Nice to know my ex can get one now... that 2 faced ....:p
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChromeAce Avatar
75 months ago
While it’s true that  has decided to allow an iPhone with FaceID to be unlocked with a 2nd face, that face has already been pre-selected to be that of Jeff Sessions.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lazyrighteye Avatar
75 months ago
I’d love to see multiple user accounts available on iOS. One iPad, for two kids.
Guessing Apple prefers the “one iPad for one person” business model more. :p
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
75 months ago
This is great, but I still need a way to prevent my kids from accessing my iMessages or mail app.

Is that a thing?
Unfortunately not. Just stupid. Like Photos app having a hidden folder without even having to scroll to see it. May as well call it LOOK AT MEEEEEEE
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheBing1980 Avatar
75 months ago
This is great, but I still need a way to prevent my kids from accessing my iMessages or mail app.

Is that a thing?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...