Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Pairing Touch ID with Face ID would be the smartest addition to the iPhone 13


The iPhone 13 is rumored to include a number of major improvements over previous-generation iPhone models. Reportedly, we’ll finally get a device with a high-refresh rate display ans an updated processor. And, according to some rumors, we’ll get an in-display fingerprint sensor, too.

The change would make sense. Mask use is, obviously, through the roof due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that really kills the utility of Face ID. Adding Touch ID would get around having to punch in your PIN every time you want to check your grocery list at the store. But there’s more to it than fixing this short-term problem — Touch ID would enhance the everyday usability of the iPhone 13.

Some people seem to take this rumor as suggesting that Apple will get rid of Face ID in favor of a new, revamped form of Touch ID. But I wouldn’t expect that to happen — instead, it could well include both technologies. And if it does, it will make the iPhone 13 the best device out there when it comes to biometric authentication.

Face ID is already the best

I admit it — I’m a big Face ID fan. I like Face ID so much that I don’t really mind the display notch that’s required. Sure, a smaller notch or no notch would be great, but not if it removes or inhibits Face ID. It’s just so easy to use — all you have to do is look at your phone, and you can access it. And securely, at that.

To be clear, Apple isn’t totally alone in implementing high-end facial-recognition tech. Google released similar tech on the Pixel 4, and I loved it on that phone, too. Sure, it made for a relatively pronounced forehead in a world of edge-to-edge displays, but the tech itself worked great. It was, however, short-lived — with the Pixel 5, Google got rid of facial recognition in favor of the humble fingerprint sensor. And, at the time, that may have been the right decision.

Unlocking however you want is even better

Don’t get me wrong — fingerprint sensors are awesome, too. The sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S21 is fast and accurate, and makes it easy to get into the phone without issues. This is the kind of sensor I would expect Apple to include on the iPhone 13, if it were to include one at all.

With both Face ID and Touch ID, the iPhone 13 would be the easiest phone to securely get into, beating any other phone out there. That’s because other phones simply have to make a choice between one or the other.

With both Face ID and Touch ID, the iPhone 13 would be the easiest phone to securely get into, beating any other phone out there.

There are plenty of non-mask-related situations where Touch ID could come in handy. When your phone is resting on a table, depending on the angle, it likely won’t unlock using Face ID unless you awkwardly peer over it. And while you can add two faces to Face ID, you can add up to five fingerprints to Touch ID, potentially meaning you could give access to more users. Face ID can sometimes get tripped up with scarves, sunglasses, and hats — Touch ID wouldn’t. And Apple could, theoretically, add an extra level of security for some actions or apps by requiring Face ID and a fingerprint simultaneously.

Ultimately, I hope the rumors turn out to be true. Apple has seemingly been more open to bringing back beloved tech of late — heck, it’s even rumored to be bringing ports back to the MacBook. Adding a new form of Touch ID would be the perfect way to enhance the iPhone experience beyond the already-great Face ID.

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