Face ID Can't Be Used to Approve Family Purchases on iPhone X

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Increasing numbers of iPhone X owners with children are finding that they are unable to approve family purchases using Face ID. The scale of the frustration was recently highlighted by ArsTechnica, which linked to a page on Apple's support forum containing hundreds of complaints.

    Basically, iPhone X users are unable to use facial authentication with the "Ask to Buy" feature, which lets parents approve their kids' iOS purchases and downloads. On iOS devices with Touch ID, parents - or "family organizers", as Apple calls them - can use Touch ID to approve Ask to Buy, but iPhone X owners are forced to enter their password manually on every occasion, which could quickly become a nuisance for device owners with big families.


    The inability to approve family purchases with Face ID is noteworthy, given that Apple has marketed it as a functional like-for-like replacement for Touch ID, but with enhanced security and speed. The frustration surrounding the missing functionality appears to have come to a head only recently because of the popularity of App Store gift cards over the holiday season.

    Face ID is generally very secure in everyday use cases, and while some attempts to fool the feature have been successful, many involve complicated technical methods and a good deal of preparation.

    That said, we have seen evidence of a 10-year-old child unlocking his mother's iPhone X with his face, even though Face ID was set up with her face. Apple itself also notes that Face ID often fails to identify between identical twins, while the probability of a false match is higher among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed. These caveats have led some to speculate whether Apple is erring on the side of caution in choosing not to deploy Face ID for family purchase approval.

    In early 2013, Apple settled a class action lawsuit originally filed by parents after their children ran up hundreds of dollars on in-app purchases in freemium games. In 2014, the company entered into an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, promising to provide $32 million in refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items.

    Article Link: Face ID Can't Be Used to Approve Family Purchases on iPhone X
  2. aidler macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2009
    As I thought from the beginning. It's not that the technology behind Face ID is flawed in any way. I'm sure Apple has perfected it as Apple does every time. But there will be more and more cases that will show that the inclusion of Face ID in everyday use cases of the iPhone was not well-thought through.
  3. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    Seems like an oversight to me. Surely this can just be fixed with an update?

    I don’t see why they wouldn’t allow this.
  4. karranz macrumors newbie


    Oct 24, 2016
    It’s a feature. 2018 iphone will let you register 2 faces!
  5. MrGimper macrumors 603


    Sep 22, 2012
    Andover, UK
    And we believe Apple when they say Face ID was always the preference and Touch ID under the screen was never an option...
  6. sharleyP macrumors newbie

    Mar 8, 2017
    It’s simple actually: facial features are inherited by children and fingerprints are not. Adding the age restriction for Face ID it can be assumed that in family Touch ID will get less false positives than Face ID.
  7. bdhokie macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2010
    I have found that the "Apple Ecosystem" leaves families behind more often than not. They've made good strides in recent years, but some of these little details are unbelievably frustrating for parents. My 13 year old son is increasingly hostile to Apple because of this type of seemingly needless roadblock to ease of use. He grew up with Apple products, but when allowed to choose would rather have anything else. I've noticed his friends also have a growing dislike of Apple - not a good trend for Apple (granted mine is a small, unscientific observation).

    If the main point for paying a premium for Apple products and services is that they should "just work", Cupertino needs to rethink recent strategies. I've always been willing to pay for the convenience of the ecosystem, but this is another example of where it isn't working for many of us. At some point, despite my investment, I'll have to evaluate if it's worth it.

    On a side note, I just spent an hour having to reset my iCloud and keychain settings for the 3rd time this year, this time to get my new Apple Watch to work properly. Given the many threads where people are having to constantly tweak iCloud to work properly across devices, I don't think the Apple ecosystem is "just working".
  8. spazzcat macrumors 68030


    Jun 29, 2007
    I had my X for three days now, I will never go back to Touch ID.
  9. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    So at the same time Apple and others are saying it can be fooled in some cases. You are saying, it’s not flawed in any way and that Apple has perfected it?
  10. Coleco macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2003
    Truly a first world problem. They make you provide a password (until an update for this feature). Oh, how will those poor iPhone X owners ever get by!?!
  11. asdavis10 macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    Don’t have children (or family). Simple solution.
  12. Bswails macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2016
    If the organizer is the one to approve the purchase how can a child approve the purchase? They won’t be able to from the device they have right? This seems like Apple just didn’t think about Family share..which in honesty still needs some work. Any time my kids send a request I’m never around so approving a purchase without my consent is not possible. PLEASE ADD FACE ID SUPPORT TO FAMILY SHARE
  13. Norwegian_Imposter macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2017
    Could it be because they could say to their parents “come look at this” and boom paid for?
  14. Jsameds macrumors 68040

    Apr 22, 2008
    Well this is what happens when you let kids loose on the app store and they spend thousands, then the family all do a sad face pose for a newspaper and Apple foot the bill.

    So yeah, I'm not surprised they've got rid of it. Was costing them a fortune for other people's dumb mistakes.
  15. Bswails macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2016
    The notification gets sent to the parents or organizers device..the app won’t install until its been approved. If we’re dealing with kids that are sneaky enough to try something like that then from my stand point they shouldn’t even have the device!
  16. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    If I recall correctly there was a time where touch ID wasn't available to complete any purchases, until an update.
  17. Bswails macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2016

    I agree with your statement..however as a X owner I know I didn’t have to spend 1k but I did and any way I can find more value for my investment I’m all in! So yeah it would have been nice to have this as a feature from day one..but like you I’m sure it’s coming in a update
  18. Ries macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2007
    Just as perfected as Music, Maps and Healthkit was? And messages in the cloud is right now, where?...
  19. Norwegian_Imposter macrumors regular


    Aug 29, 2017
    Oh behave. It’s a lot better than the majority of other providers.
  20. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    That’s what I wondered too (not having used this feature). If the point of FaceID is it reduces the ‘friction’ of having to actually touch something to authenticate, then in situations where it’s actually an advantage to need that extra step issues like this one will come up.

    It does sound like Apple did it on purpose but haven’t explained why, yet. But these days, who knows?!
  21. MarkB786 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2016
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    You are correct. You will never go back to Touch ID because Apple won't let you. Not your choice unless you downgrade to a slowed-down phone. Gotta love the "Apple ecosystem."
  22. Aetles macrumors regular


    Nov 13, 2002
    Wow, you really can't understand that, even though the article clearly states it? Honestly? :rolleyes:
  23. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    You/we/us/them... choose not to have children yet you always have family.;)
  24. og1 macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2008
    Yep I remember this. It was a few months before Touch ID could be used to approve family purchases.

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