iPad Pro 12.9, Face ID, and the problem with orientation

Discussion in 'iPad' started by va1984, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. va1984 macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    An oldtime Mac person, I have generally been very warm towards iOS devices: I owned an iPhone from day one of the original model, ditto for the iPad, and ditto for Apple Watch. When Apple released the iPad Pro 12.9, I bought it as a joke to shock my girlfriend thinking I would return it, but it’s been my primary computer since. When Apple released the iPhone X I fooled myself into thinking I could afford it and I bought it, on day one of course. All recent Apple devices show profound thoughtfulness in the design, of course, even the ones that initially are hard to make sense of (say, the Smart Keyboard) have, over time, gained my respect.

    But now Apple has a conundrum. Rumor has it that they want to put Face ID in the iPad Pro, and reduce the size of the bezels accordingly. That would be fantastic. But which bezel would house Face ID? On my iPhone X, Face ID does not work if I hold the phone in landscape and try to unlock it. (Am I doing this wrong?) If this is indeed a limitation of the TrueDepth array, it would mean that Apple has to put 2 camera arrays in the iPad to enable users to unlock the iPad in both landscape and portrait mode. Duplicate hardware for no good reason...isn’t very Apple. So I assume that either my Face ID is playing dumb with me, or Apple will be able to improve it for iPad so that it will detect faces in both orientations. Still, the problem remains: would the TrueDepth array go on the long side (for landscape) or short side? And without a notch, what would tell elderly and non-techie users where to show their faces to? My mum uses an iPad. She is old enough to find Touch ID too confusing (the press vs rest finger thing never quite made sense to her). How on earth would I explain to her that her iPad will only unlock if she does not rest her hand on one particular stretch of the bezel which is for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from the other sides of the bezel? In fact, the notch is a great usability feature, giving users a clear “up” and “down” on the otherwise all glass iPhone.

    In a larger sense, the iPad 12.9 betrayed a certain hypocrisy about orientation right from the start. Everything is designed as if it’s supposed to be used in portrait mode (from the logo at the back to the logo on the iOS boot screen) but in truth most people use it in landscape. When used with a Smart Keyboard, the Apple logo at the back is not only sideways but - to add insult to injury - cut off in half by they folds of the keyboard cover. That is...sloppy design.
    Perhaps Face ID will be an occasion for Apple to rethink its stance towards orientation in the iPad Pro? The current iPad is still, I hate to admit, a blown up iPod Touch. It is time to have a new 12.9, laptop-replacement-sized iPad, designed from the ground up to be used primarily in landscape mode.
  2. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    Your whole post is based on something that hasn’t officially been confirmed by any legit rumour source.

    Bezel serve a purpose on the devices. Although, having no bezel on an iPhone kind of works because you can manipulate the device easily, on an iPad it will be a usability nightmare if there’s no bezel at all. So I’m saying that the bezels will remain on all iPad models for the foreseeable future, albeit they might reduce the top and the bottom bezel a bit.

    If Apple decides to put Face ID on the iPad then they can easily incorporate within the bezels as per the previous point.

    Also, it’s reasonable to assume that Face ID will evolve with time and will support wider range and orientations for better chances of authentication success.

    So relax, until Apple confirms it.
  3. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Do you think the second generation of Face ID won't or can't be improved?

    In regards to non-techie people, how many of them drive? Driving seems to be a somewhat more complex task than placing a finger on a sensor of looking at a camera.

    I went to a Today at Apple class while I was waiting for an appointment. A daughter was there with her mom, 94. the mom had an ipad pro and pencil. I don't think apple intended that set up for someone of that age group.

    Sure, there are some people that will be challenged and some that are certain outliers at the other end of the spectrum.

    The question is why would your mom need the latest and greatest ipad pro?

    Maybe Apple has has addressed using face ID in the landscape mode. There is far more room in an ipad to add larger or additional chips for more functionality.

    If I was to take a stab at why the apple is oriented as it is it would be because all i devices (key word devices) are all presented in the same way without consideration for option accessories and to ensure the new user that the ipad is an extension of their iphone and connection to their macbook (handoff). This can be seen on the product selection bar at apple.com website. T
  4. va1984 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    I agree -- and I think you're right.

    You misunderstand my point about non-techies. Ive and Jobs used to be so proud of how simple, intuitive iOS and iPads were. I remember Jobs gleefully pointing out that there was not a right or a wrong way to hold an iPad (he was lying, of course). All I was saying is that a bezel-less (or near bezel-less) iPad with Face ID hidden would present a significant usability problem if Apple wants to market it as super-simple, super-accessible. But maybe as the iPads evolve they will no longer care about that line of marketing. We'll see.

    As for the iPad being initially conceived as accessories, you are, of course, right -- but by now that line of thought contradicts Apple's own marketing efforts which are increasingly pushing iPad as standalone devices.
    My qualms really just apply to the bigger iPad. It's a derivative product that is yearning for a life of its own, a meaning of its own. It started off as a bigger canvas for artists, but people and Apple have since realized that many of us want to use it as a (landscape) laptop replacement. All I am saying is that it is time to rethink the design slightly to take this fact into consideration, and that the switch from Touch ID to Face ID seems a good moment to do so.
  5. chabig macrumors 603

    Sep 6, 2002
    I think your count is off. They would need to put one sensor in each bezel, for a total of four. But I don't worry about that. Apple engineers are smart. Anything you can think of has already been considered. It's not like they built the iPhone thinking that users never try to unlock their phones in landscape mode. Whatever the limitation is will be addressed before it's added to an iPad.
  6. Greenmeenie macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2013
    Im not worried about no bezels and holdability on ipads. I do wonder how effective face ID on an ipad will be tho. Where will the cameras be? At the top of the short end like it is now? If so, won’t your hand block it in portrait mode? I am really curious to see how apple will handle this on the ipad.
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I will let Apple worry about the details. No sense in getting in a tizzy about something that is not even confirmed yet. Still enjoying my 10.5!
  8. va1984 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    I agree, and I respect them enormously. Which is why it’s fun to try to reverse engineer their reasoning, and to try and imagine the solutions they might come up with.

    Well, I guess by nature I like to think about the details. Glad you’re enjoying your 10.5. I am typing this on a 9.7 Pro, for what it’s worth: I wasn’t trying to say that the current hardware is spent and beyond being enjoyable. Far from it.
  9. Janeilfen macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2018
    Hope I am not hijacking this thread. But on the subject of using the ipad and the orientation. I am attempting to use just the 12.9 as my main “computer”, and like others here, use it in landscape mode, and only want to use it like that. But there are a number of apps, mainly banks and the like, which have obviously been written for use on a phone in portrait mode. I would love to be able to find a way to use them in landscape, or coerse the developers to write a landscape version. I can always use their standard web page but apps seem more efficient.
  10. akash.nu macrumors 604


    May 26, 2016
    There’s no way to make a portrait app into landscape by a user simply because landscape support needs to be added in both UI and the code.

    A lot of the apps are portrait only simply because there are way more iPhone users than iPad users and organisations like banks prioritises functionality over pleasant UI.

    Also, depending on the complications of the app / the service, it might be way too much effort and cost to develop an iPad version considering their user base and the value they get out of it.

Share This Page