Face Id: better than you expect worse than you want

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.

Quality - Put trust in the new or on the old reliable?

I was hurtling down a highway last evening at 80 miles an hour and while executing a particularly sharp and long curve along the road I could not help but think about the trust we all must put in our vehicles. The number of things that could go wrong at any moment is infinite. And yet, for the most part, things don't go wrong. I mentally patted myself on the back that it is good that I recycle the car every couple years reducing problems induced by wear and tear. However, I also immediately thought that isn't it better that once you have put some miles or a couple years on a car you must trust it *more* not less? It has gone through the only real QA (Quality Assurance) possible. The rubber hasn't just hit the road but survived and thrived. Should I really be returning that car in favor of a brand new with a better smell but less real-world testing potentially putting myself at risk all over again every few years? 

Who knows? We don't. But we do know that this isn't going to be a problem for long. More than likely the next car will offer over-the-air-updates for software that would more or less run the car - essentially continuously making it more and less safe at the same time.