Multi-user Face ID isn’t on the the table right now, says Federighi

The iPhone X is the first to feature the TrueDepth camera that allows it to see the depths of faces for authentication purposes. With the rumors of Face ID coming to future iPads, there’s been some wonderment as to if multi-user authentication would be coming anytime soon — after all, tablets tend to be shared among family members or frontline retail or restaurant staff.

One Steven Sheridan decided to write to the top on that issue. In his case, the top was Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering, Craig Federighi.

Sheridan mentioned in his email that he trusts his spouse to access his iPhone X as she needs to as much as he would want to access her iPhone X as needed. He bemoans the fact that the multi-finger recognition of Touch ID, which indirectly allows different users of one iOS device to sign into it, wasn’t converted in some form to Face ID. Would there be multi-user Face ID coming soon?

Here’s Federighi’s response.

Hi Steve (and Allison),

Thanks for the note.

Currently we’re focussing(sic) Face ID on single user authentication.  (Even TouchID’s multi-finger support was really intended to enable a single iPhone owner to unlock the device with a finger and thumb on both hands, not to enable multi-user authentication).

We’ll certainly keep your feedback in mind as we consider our plans to evolve Face ID in the future.


– craig

Apple is very unwilling to shed light on its future gameplan for fear of competitive pressure and the spare chance of internal failure. But here’s a rallying cry for a feature. Will people roar? Time will tell.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.