iPhone Face ID myths, tricks and why it doesn't always work
Bye-bye home button.
Apple's newest iPhone models have bid farewell to the fingerprint reader and now face scanning is the new normal at Apple.
Where your phone knows what you look like and your face becomes your password.
The face ID seciroty feature was first launched in the iPhone 10 and it's also in the new XS, the XS Max and the XR.
If you've never used it before, to unlock an iPhone get ready to ask yourself questions like.
Why doesn't it work with my sunglasses?
Why does it feel so awkward paying with my face?
Why does it feel like it never works when you wake up in the morning?
I'm Bridget Kerry let's break it down.
Okay, so for starters, Face ID is pretty cool advance technology.
You just glance at a phone and it unlocks.
You can throw on different hats and glasses, And it will still work.
It is totally encrypted, and the chance of someone else unlocking your phone with their face is one in a million.
No other smartphone has this capability.
But it has its quirks, especially for new users.
If it cannot read your face, access is denied, and you have to try again or enter a passcode.
And that fail moment can be so irritating because it slows you down, so how do you avoid those misfires?
I spoke with Apple to get some clarification on the tech, the tricks to make it work better, and if there is any truth to the theories I've heard on why it fails.
This is what I learned.
Let's start with how it works.
Face ID is packed into this little top zone here It's what Apple calls the TrueDepth Camera System.
It scans the details of your face with infrared light, and you cannot see the scan.
Unless, that is, you have a special camera.
[SOUND] Ooh, spooky infrared mode.
So with Face ID, there are over 30,000 dots of infrared light being beamed to your face.
And it creates a map of the face, which is matched with a face it has on file.
This all happens in an instant, and it is primarily checking the details around your eyes, nose, and mouth.
So that means it needs a clear scan of everything in this zone And need your eyes open and looking at the phone.
So the big learning curve here is well learning how to hold the phone, so we can see you.
This just takes more work than skinnier fingerprint.
If you're distracted, it's going to fail.
If you check it while eating, fail.
Yawning, that's a fail.
If it's winter and your face is covered up Expect a cold hard fail.
Leaning in a chair to the side while you're watching TV and checking your phone, that is a fail.
If you get a shocking text from your BFF and you get dramatic and cover your mouth with your hands and try to open the phone.
The distance also matters.
Apple says 10 to 20 inches from your face is the sweet spot.
So, if you're checking your phone in bed And it doesn't work, you probably have it too close, or it's at a bad angle, or your pillow is in the way.
If you're using Apple Pay and you want to do it fast, the trick is to scan your face when you're waiting in line before you order.
Double tap the side button.
And, then point it at your face then put the phone down to your side, make your order and then tap the NFC payments sensor like normal, that way you're not fumbling looking like you're trying to take a selfie in front of the register, and about the lighting for the most part it doesn't matter, remember it's using infrared light so, face scan can work in total darkness Well, there is one kind of lighting that could give you problems, if you're trying to unlock your phone while the camera is pointed directly into the sun, because the intense sunlight could throw off the IR sensor.
Which brings us To sunglasses.
Some work with face ID, and some do not.
It's a tricky problem, but if it is not working, then the sunglasses are designed in a way that it's blocking the IR light from scanning your eyes.
Some people say polarized lenses are the problem, but that's not always true.
Some polarized lenses work fine.
It varies As for your normal spectacles, well it shouldn't be a problem.
But if you are having a little trouble, give it some time.
Face ID gets better the more you use it and it adapts to slight changes in your appearance.
Let's say you have a mustache, and you've been rocking it for a while, but one day you suddenly decide to shave it all off.
You may get a request to enter in a passcode to confirm it is really you.
That's how the system updates your face data.
But sometimes, a passcode request is there not because you changed, but because it just didn't scan you right.
Maybe the angle was bad.
You don't have to be slowed down by typing in the code.
Just give it a little dip.
You want to dip the phone back away from your face, and bring it forward to try it again.
Now, if it still cannot detect you after five tries, It's gonna require a passcode.
There's also another trick you can try if you think you have bad luck with face ID.
IOS 12 lets you register a second look, an alternate appearance.
So if your night look is drastic from your day look, maybe this could help it fail on your less.
Or you could use this feature to allow someone else the ability to unlock your phone, like a spouse.
Now, if you do want to add a second person, I'm told this is not going to mess up your personal face ID experience.
You're not going to get more fails and the phone isn't merging the two faces into one hybrid monster face identity.
If you were wondering about that sort of thing.
Bottom line is if you're new to face ID, the best advise is to just give it time.
Time for it to learn your face and time for you to learn how it behaves and what angles work best.
Because when you do get a fail, the most likely reason is you're holding it wrong.
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