Craig Federighi: Apple Focused on Single-User Face ID, Touch ID Was Never Intended for Multiple Users

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's current focus with Face ID is on single-user authentication, suggesting support for multiple faces won't be added in the near future, according to an email from the company's software engineering chief Craig Federighi.


    By comparison, Touch ID can store up to five fingerprints, and each of those fingerprints can belong to a different person. This allows a married couple, for example, to be able to securely authenticate a single iPhone.

    In an email to a customer, however, Federighi admitted that Touch ID's multi-finger support has always been intended for a single iPhone owner to authenticate with a finger or thumb on both the left and right hand if desired.

    Federighi added that Face ID could eventually authenticate multiple faces as the system evolves in the future, but his email makes it clear that Apple doesn't have any immediate plans to implement said functionality.

    MacRumors since publishing this article has received full headers that verify this email, originally shared on Reddit. We can confirm the email originates from Apple's servers at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

    A screenshot of Craig Federighi's alleged email response to a customer

    Apple says Face ID has a one in 1,000,000 chance of a false match, compared to one in 50,000 for Touch ID, although the probability is higher among identical twins, siblings who look alike, and children.

    Vietnamese security firm Bkav has also been able to spoof Face ID twice with 3D printed masks, but the steps involved are quite complex and this isn't something the average user should be very concerned about.

    In practical, real-world usage, Face ID has proved to be very secure and reliable. But, at least for now, it appears that iPhone X owners won't be able to extend this convenience to their trusted family members or friends.

    Article Link: Craig Federighi: Apple Focused on Single-User Face ID, Touch ID Was Never Intended for Multiple Users
  2. Theyayarealivin macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2013
  3. chelsel macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    I much prefer Touch ID for managing and accessing my kids devices. I'd hate to have to enter a passcode every time I needed to get into one of their phones.
  4. mi7chy macrumors 603


    Oct 24, 2014
    Too bad Face ID authentication of non-identical family members is accidental. Non-issue with Touch ID.
  5. TroyBoy30 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2009
    Atlanta GA
  6. enkadrummer88 macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007
    North Carolina
    This email to Craig hit the nail on the head. Hopefully Apple will listen.
  7. ArneK macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    Easy. Just marry your twin.
  8. Kaibelf macrumors 68020


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Anecdotal is more accurate.
  9. enkadrummer88 macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2007
    North Carolina
    As the email stated, this customer set up a more complex password than the 4-digit passcode. You can do this in security settings.
  10. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    Touch ID was never intended for multiple users? That's B.S. They built Touch ID to support five fingers. Who is going to register five of their own fingers for Touch ID?!
  11. urbanmacUser macrumors regular


    Sep 9, 2008
    Not ideal if you have kids with devices, not that a kid should have a £1k phone but if this is the standard in years to come on cheaper devices then multiple Face ID is required.
  12. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
    The couple should create a less complex password unless he works in one of the rare sensitive positions where high security is required. If he is in such a position, then *he* shouldn't be using FaceID either.
  13. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    I registered 4 out of 10 of mine. Both thumbs and both pointing fingers.
  14. stellaclose macrumors member

    Aug 31, 2006
    If that’s the case then can Craig please explain why Touch ID is used to switch user accounts on the MacBook with touchbar?
  15. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Somebody with more than four fingers, I'd imagine. That about covers most of Apple's customers.

    Up to five fingers. They gave the option. It wasn't mandatory to register five and it doesn't imply it was meant for multiple users.

    If humans had three heads, I imagine Face ID would also support multiple faces, but not for the intended purpose of being used by multiple users.
  16. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If that was a real question - I guess you mean me? I have had four different fingers registered since I first started using a 5s. Fifth position is for my nose. (Yes, my nose), when I have my furry gloves on. :D
  17. cBraunDesign macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2010
    I feel like all I can think of is just "SMH." Apple's obsession with selling a unique device to every single person in family is so frustrating.

    Multiple user accounts on an iPad would almost assuredly convince me to buy a new iPad for my family.
  18. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2011
    WOW! I wondered but figured that you could do multiple faces on the iPhone X. Chalk that up to one more regression. I'm in the same boat as the email sender. My wife and I (even my daughter) access each other's phones for various reasons. Not being able to quickly access one or the other device in an emergency when you're flustered is not cool. Touch ID was superior in this regard.
  19. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    Lmaooo is this guy serious? Give me a break. What does he do that he needs such a long complex passcode?

    And why doesn’t he just disable attention awareness and his wife can just hold the phone towards his face to unlock it.

    This is such a nonissue it’s hilarious. How many times do they REALLY need to get into each other’s phone? Might as well share a phone number and iCloud account too.
  20. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    Excuses from people who just want to have their minute of fame.
    Anyway, they can set a 10 digit password, it would be like memorizing another phone number.
    A wireless phone is a personal device, just like underwear or a toothbrush. You don't go sharing it with other people.
    And all three may carry viruses and bacteria.
  21. outskirtsofinfinity macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2017
    When enabling Touch ID for my mobile banking app, I had to sign a declaration stating that I am the only person whose fingerprint is registered on the phone. It's part of the bank's Terms of Service. I haven't checked Apple's own Terms yet. But I'd be horrified if it allowed a different person's fingerprint on one's phone.
  22. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Emergency being...? You can still emergency call when the phone is locked. I can't think of a scenario that would constitute an emergency but involves unlocking their phone to resolve the emergency. That scenario also involving you not having your own phone.
  23. blackcrayon macrumors 68000

    Mar 10, 2003
    Apple probably wouldn't do this, but there is a solution that wouldn't need any advances in the FaceID tech.

    Simply have a screen where you first tap the user you want to authenticate as, then FaceID only has to attempt a match vs. that person's face instead of trying to decide among a list of different possible faces.

    Don't see much use for an iPhone anyway, but possibly for an iPad and definitely if FaceID comes to the Mac. Also, I think if you have two people unlocking a phone, the second person is probably not the primary user and it wouldn't be a big deal for that person to use the passcode.
  24. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    Sort of explains why iPad still has no user managing in the year 2017. PC replacement my ass
  25. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    This. I can understand why they wouldn't do it on the iPhone but I'd argue multiple users/authentication on iPads & Macs is a must. We'll find out when Face ID comes to iPad I suppose.

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