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iOS

‘Alternate Appearance’ feature in iOS 12 beta looks a lot like multi-user Face ID support

By Adrian Diaconescu June 5, 2018, 8:19 am

Apple CEO Tim Cook made it clear right off the bat yesterday that this year’s WWDC opening keynote presentation would be “all about software.” But even though Software Engineering SVP Craig Federighi spent a great deal of time hyping iOS 12 performance improvements, add-ons and system refinements, there are apparently still things we don’t know.

Big things many “iFans” have been eagerly anticipating, like multi-user support for the currently iPhone X-exclusive Face ID technology. For the time being, the feature is pretty much hidden under the far less exciting “Alternate Appearance” name in the iOS 12 developer beta, although it already appears to work essentially as expected.

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Not only is the user allowed to register two “appearances”, including, say, one with some sort of a protective mask, a hat, sunglasses or other face-obscuring accessories on, but an entirely different person can now easily unlock your mobile device. With your initial setup permission, of course.

There’s obviously no guarantee the public iOS 12 release in the fall will contain this much-needed addition to the “Face ID & Passcode” settings menu, but if Apple indeed plans to roll out three new iPhones with facial recognition, such an enhancement definitely makes sense. Not to mention Face ID-enabled iPads are also reportedly in the pipeline, and those tend to be devices shared by the entire family. Besides, if Touch ID sensors can read multiple fingerprints, why would their replacements insist on limiting the number of users that can conveniently and securely unlock a next-gen iPhone or iPad?

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