More Face ID details revealed: how to quickly disable it, ‘most’ sunglasses supported, no sharing

Should Apple start to get worried that more people seem to be talking about a single iPhone X feature than the incremental 8 and 8 Plus upgrades on the whole even as the latter two officially went up for pre-order earlier today? Probably not, as long as production is ramped up in time for a satisfactory November 3 launch of the family’s most radical redesign ever.

It’s equally as important to maintain iPhone X buzz for at least the next six weeks, until the “all-screen” device kicks off pre-sales, and a good way to do that is to gradually continue to reveal Face ID skills.

We already know facial recognition is meant to improve the convenience, speed and reliability of the “outdated” Touch ID technology, identifying the X’s registered owner even with a superficially changed appearance.

Facial hair, prescription glasses and hats can’t rattle the innovative “TrueDepth” camera system projecting over 30,000 invisible dots onto your face to build a unique “facial map.” According to Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, “most sunglasses” will also do little to confuse the new authentication method, letting through “enough IR light that FaceID can see your eyes even when the glasses appear to be opaque.”

As for your security concerns, they can be substantially eased if you remember to “grip the buttons on both sides of the phone” in a distress situation. Do that, and Face ID will be temporarily disabled, preventing thieves from forcing you to stare at the iPhone X and unlock it before handing it over.

No word on exactly how long or hard you’ll need to squeeze the device to activate this quick-disable function, but a short press takes a screenshot. Hopefully, a second or two will do the trick.

Lastly, in case you haven’t heard, only one face will be supported for rapidly unlocking the iPhone X and paying for stuff initially. Touch ID works with up to five fingerprints from the same or different users, and although some of you may want to share the X with a close friend or relative, security comes first.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).