The TV commercials make opening doors with just a glance seem so cool but is it? Here are my thoughts 5 months after setting up Face ID on an iPhone X
Ah, the problem with early adopters: sometimes we upgrade gadgets too soon. Honestly though, when it comes to iPhones, new models have been no disappointment. With each new phone Apple has improved on the previous model. When it comes to the iPhone X, the streak is over.
I’ve been using an iPhone X since its release in November 2017. Some of the things I like such as the big improvement in the camera, the portrait mode, the augmented-reality technology, the improved speakers and wireless charging. What kills my buzz is Apple’s Face ID. The feature replaces Apple’s popular fingerprint ID that’s used in other models to unlock the screen. In theory, to unlock the phone you just glance at it. In practice, Face ID is yet to arrive. It may never arrive in fact.
My biggest problem with Face ID is I’m not always looking at the camera when I want to unlock the phone. I keep it flat on the desk when I’m working on the computer. To check notifications or glance at an email or Facebook I now have to pick up the phone and hold it in front of my face. That’s more trouble than on my old iPhone 6s Plus when I could just touch the home button and lean over to see the unlocked screen. It’s even more frustrating when I’m stopped at a red light with the phone mounted to an air vent or windshield. To unlock the phone I have to be looking directly at it when I could always place a finger on the button.
If you try to unlock the screen without picking it up and looking at it, you have to swipe up again or touch the cancel button. If that fails too many times you have to enter the 6-digit passcode. I’ve already entered the passcode more times on the iPhone X than I’ve done since my first iPhone 6.
Apple is touting Face ID as a great feature in two new TV commercials; one in which a high school student opens school lockers, car doors and science lab beakers and another shows a young man buying items and paying with a glance at the screen.
Whether Face ID is a good selling point for the X or not is unknown but multiple reports show that Apple is selling fewer iPhone X models than anticipated and with the possibility of three new phones being introduced later this year, the iPhone X may go down as one of Apple’s biggest disappointments.