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Home / Tips and Tricks / iPhone Face ID is pretty cool. Here's how it works and how to use it

iPhone Face ID is pretty cool. Here's how it works and how to use it



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Face ID from Apple is used to unlock your iPhone or iPad.


Óscar Gutiérrez / CNET

When it launched Face ID in September 2017 Apple changed your close-up to the key that unlocks your iPhone . Since then, Apple has continued to expand the number and type of devices with Face ID, including the iPhone models of the past two years and the current generation iPad Pro .

By switching to Face ID, Apple has disabled its home button and fingerprint reader. The first shock of relying on gestures to use your display is enough, but when you add how to use Face ID, the rest of the nuances of using your phone can be frustrating.

My advice? After an upgrade of a Touch ID equipped iPhone be patient. It may take a week or two to adjust to stop using a home button, but once you get used to Face ID, you completely forget it.

Before we dive into the installation process, here are the Apple devices with Face ID, followed by a quick (and not all that nerdy) look at how it works.

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Which Apple devices have Face ID?

Here are the current iPhone and iPad models with Face ID:

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A simplified version of Face ID

Apple & # 39; s TrueDepth camera system is located at the top of your iPhone or iPad and consists of various components. The sensors and components work together on 30,000 infrared dots on your face, which they then use to map your curves and wrinkles. On an iPhone, you can only use Face ID if you hold the iPhone vertically. Face ID works in every direction on an iPad Pro.

During the first installation of Face ID, your face card is converted to a 2D image that is used as the master key. Each time you activate the screen on your device, Face ID maps your face by projecting dos, which is compared to the master key created during installation.

If Face ID has a match, your device will be unlocked. If not, you will be asked to try again or enter an access code. And all that happens in milliseconds.

When is Face ID used?

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani / CNET

The most common use case for Face ID is unlocking your device. Activate it by tapping the display or picking up your phone to view notifications.

But that's not all. When you see the Face ID logo at the bottom of the screen (as in the screenshot above), it actively tries to scan your face. In addition to unlocking your iPhone, Face ID is used to:

  • Authorize Apple Pay
  • Approve purchases in the App Store, iTunes, iBooks
  • Automatically enter passwords in Safari
  • Log in to third-party apps, such as banking or password management apps

Please note that if your appearance changes slightly – say that your hair has changed or you shaved your beard – Face ID may fail. But Face ID function has a cool function in store. If you enter your access code after it has not recognized you, this scan is used to find out that your appearance has changed slightly. Next time it should recognize you without a problem.

Setting Face ID feels weird, but also a bit fun? Jason Cipriani / CNET

Setting Face ID

When setting up an Apple device with Face ID for the first time, you will be asked if you want to use Face ID. If you choose not to do this, you can enable it later via the Settings app. Regardless of when you set the function, the process is the same.

First you will be asked to set an access code for use as a fallback authentication method if Face ID encounters problems recognizing you. You also need an access code after your phone or tablet has been restarted, or it has not been unlocked within 48 hours.

Hold your device between 10 and 20 inches away to register your face. With your face in the center of the circle, move your head around until the scan is complete. It is easiest to move slowly in a circle. You will be asked to perform a second scan, after which the Face ID settings will be completed.

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Face ID settings in more detail

On your iPhone or iPad, open the app Settings and select Face ID & access code . Enter your access code when prompted.

The Face ID settings allow you to enable or disable the function and add an alternative face (for example, when giving someone else access to your phone). If Face ID cannot recognize you when wearing sunglasses, you can turn off Calling attention to Face ID so that you can unlock your phone even if the TrueDepth camera cannot see your eyes.

Because Face ID functions control access to your phone and the protection of your personal data, it takes a few minutes to re-check these security settings to ensure that your data remains safe. If you are new to an iPhone that does not have a start button, we have a guide to the most common iPhone gestures that you need to master . And of course we also have a sign guide for iPad Pro users .

Originally published last year. Updated with new information.


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