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iPhone's Face ID is not perfect, but you can do better



A new batch of iPhones has landed, and with it comes the expansion of Apple's Face ID and the ability to turn your face into your password.

Face ID is an incredibly advanced facial recognition biometry. Look at the phone and it will be unlocked. If it works, it's pretty smooth – but it has its quirks. Especially for new users.


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When I started using the iPhone X ($ 809 at Walmart) earlier this year, I did not find it working all day. Access denied when I wake up. Denied when I put on glasses. Denied at my desk. Denied on the couch. Why does this gadget tell me that I do not look like me?

And every time it fails, it slows you down and prompts you to unlock a passcode. Call the Fist-Shaking Torment.

All of this is unbelievably frustrating when you get used to the ease and speed of a Touch ID fingerprint scan. The Touch ID of my old iPhone did not care how I held the phone. He also did not judge my encrusted morning face, many thanks .

But after a few weeks, the frequency of failures decreased. Face ID is designed to improve more when you use it. But something else has changed. It became more reliable because I learned to maneuver the phone better.

For anyone new, Face ID and upgrade to the iPhone XS iPhone XS Max ($ 1,100 at Sprint) and iPhone XR, get ready for a bit of learning curve

Take, for example, the awkward dance of Apple Pay, who uses Face ID to authenticate purchases. I felt like a jerk trying to pay with my face, holding the line fiddling with my phone and looking like I was trying to take a selfie just to get my morning coffee.

After practicing and many flights, I shut down the Apple Pay rhythm: Double-tap the side button, scan my face as I approach the register, make the command – then type Make calls with the NFC sensor to pay.

I've asked Apple for more advice and answers to questions about why it fails and tricks to make it work better. Here's a quick overview of what I've learned, along with my own experiences and tips to try if you have problems.

How does Face ID work?

The technique of facial scanning is packed in an area on top of the phone, called the True Depth Camera System. It scans the shape of your face with infrared light, a beam of 30,000 points invisible to the human eye. When the phone creates a depth map of your face, the data is converted into a mathematical representation. It is encrypted and lives in your device, never in iCloud or anywhere else.

The system focuses mainly on the details around your eyes, nose and mouth. If you block anything in this zone, you will get an error.

Face detection also looks for open eyes and a look at the phone. And it works best if the phone is held 10 to 20 inches from your face.

That is, if you try to unlock the phone in bed while leaning on a pillow or with your eyes narrowed, or if you hold the phone too close to your face, you will get a mistake.

Is light important?

No, mostly. Remember that this uses infrared light to scan your face. That is, it works inside, outside and even in a pitch-dark room.

You may have problems when the camera sensor is hit with direct sunlight. Intense sunshine could throw the IR reader off of a correct scan of your face. But any other household light should not be strong enough to make a difference.

Are polarized sunglasses a problem?

Apple's Answer: It depends. There are some sunglasses that do not work with Face ID, but other models – even those with polarized lenses – work well.

If your sunglasses are not working then they are designed to not work The IR light is completely blocked to scan your eyes. Apple says that several eyewear manufacturers are developing future models to make sure they work with the Face ID system.

Do I have to enter my password after every error?

No. Sometimes the face ID fails because it does not look good on your face. You can quickly repeat it by "dipping" the phone with your hand. Move the camera away by bending your wrist back and pointing the camera at the sky. Then bring it back to your face.

After five unsuccessful attempts to customize a face, a password is required. It also requires a password if the phone is reset or if the phone has not been unlocked within two days.

Sometimes, entering a password is one way to learn and improve the Face ID. If you have a significant change in your appearance, such as the wearing down of a full beard, Face ID will ask for a passcode to confirm your identity – and then update your face data.

How does Alternate Appearance work in iOS? 12 work?

If you continue to have problems with Face ID, you can benefit from adding an "alternate look". This can be helpful if your day look is drastically different from your nightlook. Maybe you occasionally wear funky glasses. Maybe you're a heavy makeup performer. Or maybe you just have bad luck with the phone that your just-awakened face accepts. In the latest operating system, a user can register two different, different looks.

In the face ID setting menu, there is the option to set a second face as an alternate look. And although Apple does not promote it, this alternate appearance can be a completely different person, if you like.

If you add another person, I'm told that this should not change your personal Face ID experience. By that I mean that you should not fail to add another person on the other side. The two faces are two separate data files on the phone – it does not connect the two to a hybrid face.

Am I just holding it wrong?

To use Face ID, you need to think more about how to hold the phone. You may need to move your head and arm to unlock it. Make sure your face is clearly visible while keeping your eyes on the screen. Do not expect it to work in multitasking.

It needs something to use, but it gets smoother over time. Except when it comes to unlocking the phone while lying in bed. I just stopped

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