Whenever Apple makes a big change to its iPhone lineup, people immediately freak out. There’s simply no way around it… people fear change. 99 times out of 100, all that whining is completely baseless. People go nuts when Apple does something like removing the headphone jack from its iPhone models. Then after a week or so, people forget there was ever a dedicated headphone jack on the iPhone to begin with.
The same thing happened when people learned that Apple was ditching Touch ID and replacing it with Face ID on the iPhone X. Instant panic spread across the internet as people took to Facebook and Twitter to air their grievances. The difference this time around, however, was that many of those people were right to be angry.
For those unfamiliar with Apple’s new Face ID solution, it’s an advanced 3D facial recognition system that replaces fingerprint authentication on the iPhone X. Apple’s “TrueDepth” camera and sensor system blasts 30,000 infrared dots onto the user’s face, and then special camera reads those dots. The phone’s software compares the new reading to the face data on file, and if it matches the phone unlocks. It all happens automatically in the blink of an eye, so it’s completely passive. You pick up your phone, your phone is unlocked.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.
For the majority of iPhone X users, Face ID works just fine. Sure it fails to unlock the phone every once in a while, but most of the time iPhone X users don’t even have to think about it. When a user picks up his or her phone, it’s unlocked by the time he or she swipes up to unlock it.
When it works well, Face ID is wonderful. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well for everyone.
Some people simply can’t get Face ID to work consistently on their iPhones. Complaints can be found all over Apple’s support forum and various other sites from people for whom Face ID has been a complete disaster. I personally know several people who can almost never get Face ID to work, which means they have no choice but to go back to using a PIN or passcode to unlock their iPhones. In 2018, that’s not acceptable.
In some cases, the issues related to a hardware defect and Apple can fix it. For other people, however, Face ID just doesn’t want to cooperate all the time. The good news, however, is that changes in iOS 12 might help many of the iPhone X owners out there who have been suffering through subpar Face ID performance.
Users on social media sites and on Reddit have found that the iOS 12 beta improves Face ID performance right from the start. They find that Face ID now recognizes them at new angles and in scenarios where it would not work before. What’s more, Face ID in iOS 12 now supports a second face, which also seems to help with performance. As noted in this thread on Reddit, many people wake up in the morning with puffy eyes. Face ID used to fail, but now they can create a second face profile to fix the issue.
The bottom line is this: If you’ve been having problems with Face ID, help may be on the way once iOS 12 is released this summer.