The rumor mill had been painting a pretty clear picture for weeks, if not months, ahead of the iPhone X's debut earlier this week. A reality where Apple no longer saw Touch ID as the primary, or even best, method to secure data on a smartphone (and to unlock that phone, too). As a result, we got Face ID. It's facial recognition, but, as is par for the course, Apple is throwing a ton of technology at it, aiming to make it the best possible option in a phone on today's market.
Apple doesn't just want this to be the best option, but on the grand scale of things it also needs to be the best option. It needs to work every single time, in every situation where it's meant to not just secure data but also allow access to the phone, and even grant Apple Pay transactions.
There's a lot riding on this particular decision.
After using the Samsung Galaxy S8+ for a while, I know that I'm not a fan of bezels anymore. Even more so while using the 10.5-inch iPad Pro (not as drastic a reduction, but still great in practice). That's why I'm considering the iPhone X as my next upgrade, even though I'm not entirely sold on the idea of that notch design while watching content on the phone.
After using the Samsung Galaxy S8+, though, I'm not entirely sold on the idea of holding up my phone to scan something on my face to unlock it. In the case of Samsung's iris scanning, it worked well enough more often than not, but sometimes it just didn't. When that happened it was ridiculously frustrating. I felt like I was using something that just didn't work as well as a fingerprint sensor, and, as a result, I went back to that option on my Galaxy S8+ pretty quickly.
I can't do that on the iPhone X. And while I'll have a PIN on my phone, too (I'm sure Apple will still enforce this option, just like with Touch ID), the Face ID failing and being the only option doesn't seem that great.
Fingerprint sensors work. At least the ones that I've used. And, in most cases, I've never had one fail on me. I know that some older phones had less-than-stellar results, but on devices like the LG G6, the Galaxy S8, and the Google Pixel XL, I've never had any issues. Touch ID on the iPhone lineup has only ever failed to work when the security parameters on the device have forced it not to (an extended period without being authenticated, in this case).
Some have said that Apple went with Face ID because it couldn't get Touch ID to work with the full-screen design. I have no doubt that Apple at least tried to get Touch ID to work in this scenario, but I'm not entirely sure that I can go along with that train of thought. I think Apple sees Face ID as the next step in security for its devices (it can get it to work on Macs, too, and iPads), and the iPhone X was the opportunity to introduce it.
I just don't know if I'm ready to give up Touch ID altogether just yet. There are a lot of reasons to maybe wait on upgrading to the iPhone X, considering it has a lot of first-gen Apple things in there, and the iPhone 8 Plus seems pretty good (even if it's more like an iPhone 7s Plus). But, those bezels.
Where do you stand on the switch to Face ID? Are you ready to give up Touch ID altogether? Let me know!