Apple’s Face ID facial scanner is fantastic—and it deserves to be on every iPhone, iPad, and Mac the company sells. Let me explain why.
Over the last several days, I’ve been using Apple’s iPhone X and interacting with its Face ID multiple times an hour. Whether I hold the handset to the side, in the dark, or in direct sunlight, it rarely encounters problems seeing my face, identifying my facial features, and giving me access to the smartphone. Even when I need to use Face ID to open a secure app, like a password keeper, or make a purchase with Apple Pay, I find it works far more reliably than the Touch ID on my old iPhone.
Apple’s Face ID is so good that it took me less than a day to get used to the feature. Now, it’s just part of using my iPhone X and I don’t even think about the smartphone, on the fly, authenticating my identity.
But now we’re hearing reports that Apple is considering bringing Face ID, which is currently only available in its iPhone X, to the professionally focused iPad Pro.
According to Bloomberg, which cited sources who claim to have knowledge of Apple’s plans, the company is hard at work on an iPad redesign that will add Face ID to the device. Like the iPhone X, the iPad would ditch the physical home button and instead rely solely on Face ID to unlock the device and verify mobile payments.
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The Face ID-equipped iPad could be released as early as next year. But with any luck at all, Apple won’t stop there.
Face ID would be an ideal addition to both iPads and Macs, as well as any iPhone Apple releases next year. On an iPad, I could see the service being used to quickly unlock the device and make mobile payments. It could also be used to verify a person’s identity before he or she can gain access to critical corporate apps that companies only want employees to access.
Just about every Mac could benefit from Face ID. Open up the MacBook Pro clamshell case, and the front-facing camera and sensors would verify your identity and let you into the software. The front-facing camera on the iMac would do the same. Apple’s Mac Pro, a standalone desktop without a monitor, might not have Face ID compatibility, but most Mac models with attached screens would be ideal Face ID companions.
Apple has invested somewhat heavily in Touch ID, the company’s fingerprint sensor; it’s used on the iPad and the MacBook Pro. But Apple itself acknowledged at the iPhone X’s unveiling in September that Touch ID isn’t as secure as Face ID. And in my time with Face ID, I’ve found to be far more reliable, with fewer problems identifying me.
There have been reports that Apple is working on a virtual fingerprint sensor that would be baked into its iPhone’s screen as an alternative to Face ID. If so, Apple is wasting its time. Face ID is a major, important step forward in biometrics and the broader iPhone user experience, and I hope Apple delivers it in every new device it sells in the coming year.
I’ve seen the future of Apple product security. And it’s Face ID.