Six months of using Face ID and not a day goes by that I don’t miss Touch ID.
I was skeptical before iPhone X came out and I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked in recognising my face. However, turns put I was worried about the wrong thing. I was worried about the technology whereas the problems that have surfaced are almost all about usability.
Here are some of the things that make Face ID a suboptimal solution to Touch ID...
- It is just slow enough to be annoying - this won't be a big deal if I didn't have to encounter it every single time I try to use the phone.
- Doesn’t work when not straight in front of the face - this doesn't happen enough but every time it does - it sucks a little bit
- Much slower authenticating other apps from banks and such
- Failure mode is way slower - since it is slow and since my finger isn't on the phone - when Face ID fails - it takes much longer to get to entering the code
- Doesn’t work while skiing or wearing heavy face gear - this not too different from Touch ID - but it was much easier to get your glove off and get Touch ID working than to take your glove off - wait for Face ID to fail - and then enter your code.
- Apple pay is way worse. Awkward, slow and in your face - me looking at the phone - the cashier looking at me.
Since Face ID is here to stay, I saw wish Apple would also add Touch ID somewhere on the phones - maybe at the back? Oh well, we can dream.