Face ID vs Touch ID

AppleInsider:

With the introduction of the iPhone X and Face ID, some are concerned that Apple’s new biometric system is not as secure or easy to use as the legacy fingerprint-based Touch ID. AppleInsider digs deeper to explain why you shouldn’t fear facing the future.

I went into the iPhone X launch with some preconceived notions about Touch ID having some convenience advantages over Face ID.

As this article points out, the convenience advantage lies with Face ID, and Face ID is only going to get better over time. It is the future. Good read.



  • James Hughes

    The only place this isn’t true, for me, is when I get in the car and put my iPhone on the holder. I used to use Touch ID to open the phone for GPS before going. Now I use Face ID before I put the phone on the holder. Basically anywhere I could unlock the phone without looking, I have to look now. Not a big deal, just something new to get used to.

  • komocode

    from my experience, i deal with faceid not being able to unlock probably about 7-10 times a day. a bummer, but still worth the extra screen space

    i’d probably choose touchid under the screen vs faceid though

    • ive found this happens when im not looking at it and trying to unlock, or covering my mouth inadvertently. many times re-setting my gaze onto the display causes it to auto-retry and unlock. when it doesnt i tap Canel and re-swipe and it unlocks

      • komocode

        i’ve found that you can tilt your iphone back and forth to retry the faceid.

        • James Hughes

          If it doesn’t recognize me, I always use the passcode to unlock it. Then Face ID learns the new point of view of my face. It is working almost flawlessly now.

          • komocode

            yeah i know about that. even then it’s situations where my head isn’t in front of the camera. like when the phone is on the table facing the ceiling, or when i’m in bed and my arm is covering half my face. face id also can’t unlock when my phone is in landscape.

          • James Hughes

            No, it can not and won’t unlock when in landscape. It also won’t unlock if it’s upside down. If it is on a desk and I tap it to wake I have to put my face closer to the phone. Also, at extreme angles the phone won’t unlock. But I am surprised at how well it does on angles. I’d say it does unlock at maybe 10 to 15 degree angles. It has to detect your face, as entered. I wouldn’t want it to be able to select half my face either. What you are suggesting would make Face ID less secure.

            I figured it out. You are keeping the ski mask on, aren’t you? ; )

          • komocode

            I’m simply stating the fact that I experience 7-10 failed unlocks a day. Your solution of “entering a passcode to teach FaceID” doesn’t really improve my FaceID failure rate.

          • James Hughes

            Sorry to say this, but you are holding it wrong. Hee hee. That so fits here!

          • komocode

            Just encountered this scenario a few seconds ago https://i.imgur.com/Ftc5YIM.jpg

          • James Hughes

            Why is the image sideways? Are you from the Matrix?

          • komocode

            browsing Safari in landscape like i always do

          • James Hughes

            It doesn’t work in landscape mode.

            Here is some more info that may be useful.

            https://www.imore.com/limitations-face-id-what-you-need-know

          • komocode

            Yeah I know it doesn’t work in landscape mode. Again, just another one of those 7-10 situations i run into a day where Face ID fails.

          • James Hughes

            Technically it’s not failing though. It isn’t designed to be used that way. It’s like trying to put toast in a toaster but put the toaster upside down. Yup, the bread will keep falling out.

          • komocode

            Err, no it should be designed to work in landscape (especially when there’s rumors of bringing Face ID to iPad). It’s not a hardware issue, it’s a software issue.

          • James Hughes

            Did you read the link? It is not designed to work in landscape mode. NOT. It may well be designed that way when it comes to the iPad. But, as for now, it is not.

            Here, here is an Apple recommended answer.

            https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8146457?start=0&tstart=0

            It is just not currently designed to do so. I don’t understand why you keep trying?

          • komocode

            iMore’s article was not written by an official employee by Apple, so I’m going to ignore that trash.

            Face ID is “failing” from a user experience point of view. If an app only works in landscape and I can’t use Face ID without rotating my device, it’s failing.

            In reality there’s nothing preventing the dot projector or the sensors from doing it’s job in landscape. Sure, the projection map isn’t symmetrical and may have less range, but it can still detect the face just fine. It’s definitely an unfinished software issue.

          • James Hughes

            Is Apple’s officially sanctioned answer on it’s own site also trash? At this point you are being deliberately obtuse. Also iMore is not trash. Face ID is doing what it was design to do. You, anecdotally, consider it to be failing. YOU DO. Apps still work, just Face ID, at this point in it’s progress requires that the iPhone be in portrait mode. Full stop, period, all that. I also wouldn’t presume, like you are, that the dot projector can accurately recognize a face in landscape mode. That is merely a guess on your part. I hope you are right.

          • komocode

            “Is Apple’s officially sanctioned answer on it’s own site also trash?” No. I never said that.

            iMore is complete trash imo. It’s an opinion, so calm down if I don’t like your favorite website.

            Apple’s answer is an excuse for unfinished software. Face ID includes the hardware and software aspect. The hardware is functioning flawlessly in portrait and landscape. Dot projector has no trouble projecting dots in any orientation. Infrared camera has no trouble picking up the infrared data in any orientation. The software however isn’t working in landscape.

            Look at it this way: plenty of people say Touch ID FAILS to recognize fingers when wet (a common use case). Sure you can make the argument that wasn’t designed to detect wet fingers, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t fail.

          • James Hughes

            I’m calm thanks. It’s not my favorite site either, it’s one of the better ones though.

            “”Is Apple’s officially sanctioned answer on it’s own site also trash?” No. I never said that.” That’s why it’s a question.

            “The hardware is functioning flawlessly in portrait and landscape. Dot projector has no trouble projecting dots in any orientation. Infrared camera has no trouble picking up the infrared data in any orientation. The software however isn’t working in landscape”

            Do you have any evidence to support these statements?

          • komocode

            “That’s why it’s a question.” Okay? I answered your question.

            “Do you have any evidence to support these statements?” Sure. Here’s video proof: http://d.pr/v/yokr2t

            You can download the app here and test the truedepth camera in landscape for yourself if you don’t believe me: https://itunes.apple.com/app/measurekit/id1258270451?mt=8

            As I said, the Face ID hardware works fine in landscape. It’s a software issue.

          • James Hughes

            It’s also possible that the array disn’t meet the security threshold that Apple required. Therefore it’s possible that Face ID can capture much of the face, but not enough to meet their security requirements.

          • komocode

            nope i just tested this. i was able setup my face in landscape and did an unlock in landscape. it’s more likely face id’s software doesn’t know how to handle both orientations. again, chalking up to unfinished software.

            im guessing that apple could totally make both orientations happen in iOS but feels like they’re going to reserve that feature for iPhone X-2 or whatever the next phone is called

          • James Hughes

            Interesting. Not fully landscape though. Close is better than not at all. I’ll have to try a few myself. When I initially got the phone I almost immediately tried unlocking upside down. I presumed the dot arrray couldn’t read my face because of the direction it beamed them out. I still occasionally try training it by entering my passcode when it fails.

  • Matt

    Yep FaceID has a bit more convenience, but at the cost of worse security. I don’t like that trade off. I’ll stick with Touch ID as long as possible.

    • James Hughes

      Worse security? Can you elaborate? DO you mean the twins thing? Or some adolescents? If you want and need real security, don’t use either. Stick to a 6 digit password.

      • Matt

        No, FaceID is a passive authentication method. Its constantly trying to authenticate. TouchID is an active authentication method. You have to take an action to get authenticated.

        With FaceID, anybody can grab the phone and point it at the owners face to unlock it, where as with TouchID, they would have to force someone to actually unlock by putting their finger on the home button. Its an extra step, so more secure.

        Its not about “real security”, its about balancing the tradeoffs between convenience and security. I don’t like the tradeoff with FaceID that adds convenience but reduces security.

        And besides, don’t use a 6 digit password.;, use a full text password. That’s what I do.

        • James Hughes

          Someone can just as easily lift my wallet or get my car keys etc. etc. But I do see your point.

  • Face ID is definitely worse than Touch ID. That was one of the reasons I returned my iPhone X.