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Mobile Apps

With FaceСrypt iPhone app, your face unlocks Web sites

The latest version of FaceCrypt’s iPhone app adds its own browser so you can more easily access password-protected Web sites with facial recognition.

FaceCrypt's iPhone app. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

iPhone users can now directly open secure Web sites through an app called FaceCrypt -- using just their face.

The previous version of FaceCrypt required you to manually type or paste your username and password to access a protected Web site via your default browser. But the new version released on Sunday includes its own dedicated browser, so the process is smoother.

To set up the app's facial recognition, simply choose Face Recognition as the access method (the app also lets you use a traditional alphanumeric password or a pattern lock). The app snaps a picture of your face and then verifies it as your security method.

You create an entry for each Web site you visit by typing the site name, URL, username, and password. You then save that entry in the app's Passwords vault. The next time you want to access that Web site through FaceCrypt, simply let the app scan your face to open the vault. Tapping the URL for the site launches it in FaceCrypt's Web browser where your username and password automatically are applied.

The overall process is still a bit slow and clumsy but is a welcome improvement over manually entering your login credentials for each site.

FaceCrypt comes in three different flavors. The free version uses in-app purchases to unlock the browser and many other features. The $4.99 Basic edition uses in-app purchases to unlock certain features. And the $6.99 Plus version comes with all features unlocked.

Another iPhone app called FastAccess Anywhere also allows you to lock and unlock Web sites via your facial patterns. Android already offers a built-in feature called Face Unlock. Until Apple integrates facial recognition into its mobile devices, apps such as FaceCrypt and FastAccess are the only such viable options for iOS users.