Code in iOS 12.1 Update Hints at Landscape Face ID Support for Upcoming iPad Pro Models

Code in the iOS 12.1 beta released this morning suggests Face ID has built-in support for landscape orientation, according to information shared by developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

iPad Pro 12 9 2018 5K3 1068x580

A rendering of the upcoming iPad Pro said to be based on leaked CAD drawings

According to Troughton-Smith, landscape support for Face ID has likely been built into the update for upcoming iPad Pro models that are expected to offer Face ID.


Troughton-Smith says that landscape Face ID requires a different alignment for the front-facing sensors of the TrueDepth camera system, which is why it won't be available for iPhone models that have Face ID.


Previous iPad rumors have also suggested Apple would introduce Face ID support for landscape orientation specifically for the new iPad Pro models, because being able to unlock only in portrait mode would be inconvenient with a larger tablet form factor that's most often used in a horizontal orientation.

Right now, Face ID on the iPhone X and the new iPhone XS and XS Max devices works only in portrait mode, with the devices unable to recognize a face when held in landscape mode.

There has been some confusion over how Apple will implement Face ID in the iPad Pro models, though, as some rumors have pointed towards the inclusion of a new mystery port that's supposedly a Smart Connector located at the back of the device in leaked cases and CAD drawings.

iPad Pro 12 9 2018 5K2 1068x580

A rendering of the upcoming iPad Pro said to be based on leaked CAD drawings

According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, which has somewhat of a mixed track record when it comes to rumors, the Smart Connector allegedly works with a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard. Mac Otakara believes Face ID in the iPad Pro will work only in vertical orientation, but both today's information and prior hints of horizontal Face ID support suggest that's inaccurate.

Troughton-Smith shared a few other tidbits he found in the beta. There appears to be code to support an upcoming change to MFi game controllers that will offer up compatibility with clickable thumb sticks, and iOS 12.1 "seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected," which could be related to rumors of a switch from Lightning to USB-C.

Apple's iPad Pro models are rumored to feature edge-to-edge displays with no Home button, no headphone jack, and a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port. We're expecting Apple to introduce the new iPad Pros before the end of the year, perhaps at an upcoming event in October.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Top Rated Comments

AngerDanger Avatar
29 months ago
Calling it now:



Attachment Image
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BornAgainMac Avatar
29 months ago
It will take a lot of courage for Apple to put a USB-C port on it.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Klae17 Avatar
29 months ago

Armchair engineer, don't you think Apple would have been doing just that if it's that easy.

Right, like they couldn't engineer the X MAX last year? They held off on the bigger screen so people would have something to upgrade to. I'm a marketer, and Apple is a marketing company.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Return Zero Avatar
29 months ago
Not being possible with the existing iPhone X hardware doesn't make sense to me... It's infrared light, dot projector, and infrared camera, all operating in flood/wide-angle. The field of effectiveness seems broad enough to work in landscape. What exactly would need realignment that couldn't simply be accounted for in software?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
29 months ago

Hardware that they clearly could have included in the XS, XS Max, and the XR.

Armchair engineer, don't you think Apple would have been doing just that if it's that easy.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iapplelove Avatar
29 months ago
Apple already has my money for one of these.

I just haven’t told my ancient iPad Air yet.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple top apps games 2020

Apple Shares Top 20 Most Downloaded Games and Apps of 2020

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:38 pm PST by
Alongside picks for the top iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps and games of the year, Apple today shared charts featuring the Top Games of 2020 and the Top Apps of 2020, revealing the most popular free and paid apps and games during the year. Among Us! was the top free game of 2020, followed by Call of Duty: Mobile, Roblox, and Subway Surfers. Ink Inc. Tattoo Drawing was the number four free app,...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Developer Delves Into Reasons Why Apple's M1 Chip is So Fast

Monday November 30, 2020 1:57 pm PST by
Apple's M1 chip is the fastest chip that Apple has ever released in a Mac based on single-core CPU benchmark scores, and it beats out many high-end Intel Macs when it comes to multi-core performance. Developer Erik Engheim recently shared a deep dive into the M1 chip, exploring the reasons why Apple's new processor is so much faster than the Intel chips that it replaces. First and foremost,...
iphone8guide b

iOS 14.2 Quietly Added FaceTime 1080p Support to iPhone 8 and Later Models

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:21 am PST by
Back in early November, Apple released iOS 14.2 and announced with it a slew of new features for iPhones, but one thing it didn't mention was the apparent addition of support for 1080p FaceTime calls on iPhone 8 and later devices. The little-known fact was discovered by MacMagazine, which found that Apple quietly updated the specs pages for devices like iPhone XR shortly after the release of ...
apple briefcase

AppleCare Memo Hints at Potential Hardware Announcement Next Tuesday

Thursday December 3, 2020 9:12 am PST by
Following a busy fall season in which Apple hosted three events in as many months, the company may have one more product announcement in store this year. In an internal memo this week, obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source, Apple informed service providers that it has AppleCare-related changes planned for Tuesday, December 8 at approximately 5:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Specifically, Apple ...
best apps of 2020

Wakeout! Named Apple's Best App of 2020, While Zoom Earns the Title for Best iPad App

Tuesday December 1, 2020 9:26 pm PST by
Apple today shared its App Store Best of 2020 winners, highlighting its picks for the top iOS, iPadOS, and macOS apps and games released over the course of the year. Apple's iPhone App of the Year award went to Wakeout!, which is a family friendly exercise and movement app that encourages people to complete easy exercises while at home. Apple's iPad App of the Year was Zoom, which soared in...
16 inch MBP Mini Led

Kuo: Two Redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and New MacBook Air in 2022, All With Apple Silicon and Mini-LED Displays

Wednesday December 2, 2020 5:46 am PST by
Apple plans to release two redesigned MacBook Pros in 2021 and a new MacBook Air in 2022, all with mini-LED displays and Apple Silicon chips, according to TFI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a research note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an all-new form factor design are expected to launch in 2021, and a new "affordable"...
iOS 14

Apple Releases Third Betas of iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday December 2, 2020 10:04 am PST by
Apple today seeded the third betas of upcoming iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 updates to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the second betas and a month after the launch of iOS and iPadOS 14.2. iOS and iPadOS 14.3 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper developer profile has been installed. The iOS 14.3 update brings the...
homepod mini amazon echo size

$99 Speaker Showdown: HomePod Mini vs. Amazon Echo and Google Nest Audio

Wednesday December 2, 2020 3:12 pm PST by
Apple recently released the HomePod mini, a new $99 version of the original HomePod that's smaller, cuter, and, most importantly, competitively priced. At $99, the HomePod mini can better compete with affordable smart speakers from companies like Google and Amazon. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The HomePod mini has been praised for its high-quality sound at its...
Mac Mini 2018

Apple Developers Now Able to Natively Run macOS Within AWS With Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Monday November 30, 2020 9:01 pm PST by
As AWS re:Invent kicks off, Amazon Web Services today announced new Mac instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, allowing AWS customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time. Amazon says that the new feature extends the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers as those creating apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple...
magsafe duo charger

MagSafe Duo Charger for iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Now Available for Purchase

Tuesday December 1, 2020 4:15 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the MagSafe Duo Charger that was announced alongside the new iPhone 12 models back in October. Priced at $129, the MagSafe Duo offers a MagSafe charging puck for the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, and 12 mini, along with an Apple Watch charger. Though the accessory was announced in October and was listed as coming soon, it was not clear when it would launch. Orders...