By now, if you’re interested in tech, you’ve probably seen a video or two of the iPhone X being unlocked by someone’s face that isn’t the owner. Apple said it was more secure than Touch ID, at least twice as secure, so what gives? There are a few factors at play here. It involves the machine learning Apple uses to make Face ID work, Face ID’s limitations on children, and, unfortunately, some really bad news for anyone with an identical twin (especially if they’re an evil twin). To answer your biggest question, no, Face ID isn’t easily compromised, but there are steps you may be unintentionally doing that are making you more vulnerable. Here’s an explanation of what’s happening, and how you can ensure your phone is secure.
The past few weeks have been rough for me. I’ve been apartment hunting, packing, and moving. On top of that, I stayed up until 4 AM last Friday to pre-order the iPhone X. Refreshing my Mac’s browser as well as both my iPad’s and my iPhone’s Apple Store apps, both on and off my WiFi. I was going to be one of the first people in America to order the iPhone X. Or so I thought. None of my devices loaded the page until around 3:07. By then, the earliest I would receive my iPhone X would be on November 17th. So, instead of typing this with an iPhone X sitting next to me, I instead am looking at my boring old iPhone 6s. I’ve got to wait at least two more weeks to write my own review. Since, by then, it’ll be 2 weeks late, I’ll likely use it for a week or two before reviewing, so I can give a detailed review of the phone that accounts for everyday use. I’ll even be able to compare it to the Samsung Galaxy S8, so look forward to that review and comparison in a few weeks.
Until then, I’ve collected information from a number of reviews to answer some of the big questions about the iPhone X.
Apple didn’t release the first smartphone, they didn’t release the first touchscreen phone, but they did release the best, by a wide margin. Since then, other smartphones evolved to look more like Apple’s, and from there, we get the iOS vs Android duopoly that we have today. Apple wasn’t the first to make a GUI, the first PC manufacturer, the first to put a fingerprint sensor on a phone, they weren’t the first with two cameras, or even the first to make an MP3 player, but they’ve done the best versions of all of these things, changing the market forever. That’s why I hate graphics like the ones above, which seem to come out every time Apple releases some exciting new iPhone. No, Apple wasn’t the first, but they’ve done everything so much better, so the question becomes, why did the others create such half-assed projects to begin with? If you’re going to do something right, take your time and do it right, don’t rush it and release something that’s less than the best. That’s Apple’s philosophy, it’s why iPhone users stick with iOS, and it’s why we’re excited to use the iPhone X.
So, what about the points raised in the graphics above? I’m going to tear each of them apart. Why? Because I hate the spread of fake news far more than I hate know-it-all fanboys, and this involves both.
You know? I like the number 9. It’s the highest single digit decimal number, it’s the number for the first month of fall, it’s my favorite number squared, and, for some silly reason, 9/10ths of a cent are added to the price of every gallon of gas in the U.S. Yes, 9 is a pretty special number. Unfortunately, some people tend to disagree with me. Namely, Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft jumped from Windows 8 to Windows 10, perhaps to distance itself from the disaster that was Windows 8, and Apple just released the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X (pronounced “ten”). In one or two years, it’s unlikely they’ll release the iPhone 9 and iPhone 11, they’ll likely mix up the names, so we likely will never see the number 9 on an iPhone. Why’d Apple release an iPhone X (ten in Roman numerals), alongside the iPhone 8? For nostalgia’s sake, of course, but it’s anything but a device stuck in the past. The new iPhones weren’t the only new Apple devices on the stage on during Tuesday’s event. Apple also announced the Apple TV 4K, Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE, and new features of iOS 11. With the introduction of three new flagship iPhone models, it was certainly a unique event, and with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus going on preorder last Friday, we can get an idea of how popular these devices will be.
Apple has never been a company to look into the past, always moving forward. However, once before, they celebrated how far they came with a brand new product that encapsulates all the greatness of their past products while simultaneously forging forward. The 20th anniversary Macintosh, released in 1997, came out just a few years before Apple released Mac OS X, a dramatic leap forward in the desktop operating system. It’s a rare moment of nostalgia for Apple before they forge ahead with new technologies. Plus, customers love these creative devices. Something else Apple rarely does? Leak their own products. 2017 seems to be a unique hear for them, because this year, they’re both looking back, and leaking their own products.
For the second time, Apple accidentally released firmware that reveals their upcoming products. Now we know for sure that the next iPhones will be called the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and a new premium model, the iPhone X. Apple also revealed a new Apple Watch, presumably the LTE Apple Watch, as well as a secret feature of the iPhone X: emoji that track (and react to) your face!
On macOS, developers may not want to use the Touch Bar. Users aren’t interacting with their Mac through direct touch anywhere else, and the bar is a bit out of the way. It’s been seen by reviewers as a gimmick. However, such a bar on iOS would be different. Users are already interacting with their devices with touch, and they can interact with their devices using just one hand, so adding a Touch Bar wouldn’t change much. In fact, you might think it makes less sense since the entire screen is already a touch area. Why add a Touch Bar at all? To replace utilitarian buttons, especially fingerprint-sensitive ones.
We’ve been expecting something big from Apple in 2017 regarding the iPhone. It’s hard to believe, but it was 10 years ago the iPhone was released, which started us on a new revolution of personal computing. This year, Apple is expected to release three new iPhones, with one model costing over $1,000. This will presumably be the pinnacle of iPhone design, the special 10th anniversary edition iPhone, just as Apple released a special Macintosh for their 20th anniversary. The other models are expected to be upgrades over the iPhone 7, but not as substancial as this special anniversary edition. Apple redefined their release schedule with the iPhone 7, which largely shares the shape of the iPhone 6s that came before it, being the third iPhone generation to use the same design. All versions of the 2017 iPhone are expected to be different, bringing a new glass design to the device, alongside improved performance, and wireless charging.