If Face ID performs that poorly in the model shipping to consumers in November, it will leave the company’s biometric security array in a world of hurt. If I can’t open the phone of the future with my face than it’s not actually, you know, the phone of the future.


“It all comes down to how good the facial recognition is,” noted Apple fan John Gruber wrote last week amidst rumors there would be no Touch ID on the iPhone X. “If it’s as fast, reliable, trustworthy, and convenient as Touch ID, then omitting Touch ID is a legitimate design choice. Forward progress on biometrics. If it’s worse than Touch ID in any meaningful way, it’s an inexcusable mistake.”

Gruber is absolutely right, but retiring the thumb print tech (it will likely appear in cheaper iPhones for the foreseeable future) to lean on rapidly maturing and potentially more secure technology feels like a very Apple move. The company isn’t always the first to arrive at a solution, but it usually does with the kind of aplomb that makes us wonder why we haven’t been using it for decades.