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dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,390
464
Since moving from my 8+ to my XR in November, I’ve been annoyed that I can’t hold my XR at arms length and have it unlock with Face ID (I’m 6’2” and apparently have long monkey arms).

However, just updated to 12.3 an hour ago and it seems like it’s unlocking now with my arm fully outstretched. Maybe a 2-3” improvement? Anyone else seeing this as well? Thanks.
 

quietstormSD

macrumors 65816
Mar 2, 2010
1,228
601
San Diego, CA
I just upgraded tonight and just tested (I’m 6’1”) and it unlocked, will have to wait till the morning to see if it will unlock while on a stand on the dashboard in my car, which has been a problem for me since the X.
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Sep 16, 2008
2,390
464
Do you do this as a matter of normal use? Or is it just an experiment? I can't imagine holding my phone at the end of my fully outstretched arm would be anything less than highly inconvenient.

For me, the worst-case situation is when it's on my dash mount in my car which is approximately at arm's length. But you are right, I don't usually have my elbow locked at full reach when using the Face ID. So far, it just seems a little better. Maybe it's not, but seems like it though.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,731
11,079
I’d argue it does not. Before update, my test iPhone XS Max won’t unlock under low light. After update. It still refuse to unlock under similar low light condition.
 

Lyrca

macrumors 6502
Sep 21, 2017
341
670
France
I’d argue it does not. Before update, my test iPhone XS Max won’t unlock under low light. After update. It still refuse to unlock under similar low light condition.

That’s weird, it should unlock even in a pitch black surrounding.

I haven’t noticed any difference since upgrading to 12.3, maybe I need a couple more days experimenting to find out.
 

ajguckian

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2012
119
149
Hudson Valley
I actually had my first missed unlock in forever today, because I was yawning. It's always been pretty spot on for me, so no difference with this release here.
 

aldo82

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2011
653
534
For me FaceID went much slower with 12.2 but with 12.3 its back to the best and works very reliably for me in the normal range of usage for my phone. If anything I actually find it works better with the phone further away rather than closer. But I don't have very long arms!
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,731
11,079
Ambient lighting has nothing to do with FaceID. I can walk into a pitch dark closet and my MAX opens instantly.
With downtime present and pitch dark? Downtime will let your iPhone emit a very small amount of light (for OLED screen). I have a hard time trying to unlock in that scenario. Maybe I will try to let the iPhone register my face again.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,253
Jacksonville, Florida
With downtime present and pitch dark? Downtime will let your iPhone emit a very small amount of light (for OLED screen). I have a hard time trying to unlock in that scenario. Maybe I will try to let the iPhone register my face again.

You face is detected by the dots that the phone projects on your face and not ambient light.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,731
11,079
You face is detected by the dots that the phone projects on your face and not ambient light.
Ok. Assuming that is the case. I just lock my phone a few seconds ago for some testing. 11pm, dark room. iPhone close to my face. Tries to unlock, fail 5 out of 5. I have to type passcode to get in. Tried a reset face already. Feels like my unit has some problems with Face ID.
 

Lekro

macrumors 6502a
Mar 23, 2019
564
295
Ok. Assuming that is the case. I just lock my phone a few seconds ago for some testing. 11pm, dark room. iPhone close to my face. Tries to unlock, fail 5 out of 5. I have to type passcode to get in. Tried a reset face already. Feels like my unit has some problems with Face ID.

It’s not assuming, it’s a fact. There is a flood illuminator, dot projector and an infrared camera.

The flood illuminator lights up your face for the phone, the dot projector projects the dots, the infrared sensor sees the dots and the phone creates a map.
 

newellj

macrumors G3
Oct 15, 2014
8,127
3,030
East of Eden
Ambient lighting has nothing to do with FaceID. I can walk into a pitch dark closet and my MAX opens instantly.

Yes, I get the fastest unlocks in dark or near dark conditions. I haven't noticed it being faster, but I'm not saying it isn't.
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Ok. Assuming that is the case. I just lock my phone a few seconds ago for some testing. 11pm, dark room. iPhone close to my face. Tries to unlock, fail 5 out of 5. I have to type passcode to get in. Tried a reset face already. Feels like my unit has some problems with Face ID.

You might be holding it too close? I found Face ID works best when you register your face in moderate light with few shadow at arms length (that is, as far away from your face as possible). Learning these tricks made a huge difference with my iPhone X and now with the Xs.
 

jagolden

macrumors 68000
Feb 11, 2002
1,532
1,404
I’d argue it does not. Before update, my test iPhone XS Max won’t unlock under low light. After update. It still refuse to unlock under similar low light condition.

My XS Max unlocks fine even in very low light. With the new iOS it’s also noticeably faster.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,253
Jacksonville, Florida
Ok. Assuming that is the case. I just lock my phone a few seconds ago for some testing. 11pm, dark room. iPhone close to my face. Tries to unlock, fail 5 out of 5. I have to type passcode to get in. Tried a reset face already. Feels like my unit has some problems with Face ID.

Do not hold it "close to your face".

Ambient light has nothing to do with it.
 

PeteS1963

macrumors 6502
Sep 19, 2014
443
323
Since moving from my 8+ to my XR in November, I’ve been annoyed that I can’t hold my XR at arms length and have it unlock with Face ID (I’m 6’2” and apparently have long monkey arms).

However, just updated to 12.3 an hour ago and it seems like it’s unlocking now with my arm fully outstretched. Maybe a 2-3” improvement? Anyone else seeing this as well? Thanks.

Yes, I agree with you. With my XR in a car mount in order to unlock my phone I had to move my head slightly forward. With 12.3 I no longer have to do this. It’s an obvious difference/improvement.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors P6
May 16, 2015
15,731
11,079
You might be holding it too close? I found Face ID works best when you register your face in moderate light with few shadow at arms length (that is, as far away from your face as possible). Learning these tricks made a huge difference with my iPhone X and now with the Xs.
Wow, thanks for this tip. Yes, I hold it close because I am using it while on the bed. Did not notice this hidden requirement for Face ID. Now the ambient light has much less impact than I thought before.
 
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aldo82

macrumors 6502a
Feb 8, 2011
653
534
faceID is flawless in the dark I find. I have to hold my phone close to read it, especially when I don't have my contacts in but I have learnt that too close and faceID won't work. So to unlock I just hold it a bit further away, swipe up to unlock and then move it closer to read
 

chabig

macrumors G4
Sep 6, 2002
11,296
8,998
I found Face ID works best when you register your face in moderate light with few shadow at arms length
FaceID isn’t affected by ambient light. In fact it requires no ambient light at all. It uses infrared from its own built in illuminator.
 
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