It just works. Scan a finger. Use the Touch ID button to unlock iPhone, iPad, and now MacBook Pro models with little effort. High security married high convenience. Face ID debuted on last year’s iPhone X. Face ID is the future of convenience and security. Where is Face ID on the Mac?
As an Apple customer and Mac user for more decades than I desire to count and then tell anyone, I’ve come to recognize that the company’s genius is not in being first to the market with new features and functions.
Fingerprint scanners have been around many years, first on personal computers, later on other devices. Did they work? Not with sufficient reliability that anyone bothered to use them the way we came to rely on Touch ID. It just worked. It was fast and reliable and convenient and secure.
Yet, Apple ditched the much beloved Touch ID for Face ID on iPhone X. What? The reasons likely are many and varied but let’s just say Face ID works, too, and in some ways more convenient in how it marries security with convenience. It works even if you have gloves or glasses on. Touch ID often had problems with sticky fingers.
Word on the streets tells me that Face ID is on the way to new iPad Pro models. Removing the Home button also means the swiping and new gestures we learned with iPhone X likely will show up on the new iPads, and that means a smaller overall product with thinner bezels.
If it all works as well as Face ID on iPhone X then Apple has extended the facial recognition technology to another layer of products.
What about the Mac? Touch ID made it to the MacBook Pro line a few years ago. Since Mac notebooks and iMac already have a built-in FaceTime camera we should expect Face ID to show up on future Mac models.
When? The high performance MacBook Pro models released this year have Touch ID. New Mac notebook models are on the way, yet none of my rumor monger scouts have indicated they will come with Face ID.
What’s the problem, Apple?
There are issues that most Apple critics and members of the technorati elite politburo fail to bring to their readers. Supply chain. It takes time to get the supply chain to a point where it can manufacture new components at an appropriate price and specific volume. Apple may have sold 80-million iPhone X’s with Face ID since launch, but this year may need double that number if all three new iPhone models come with the facial recognition system.
Apple sells about 40-million iPads and 20-million Macs each year, so moving the technology from iPhone to other products takes some effort– both to configure Face ID for each device, and get manufacturing ramped up to handle the volume of production.
You seldom read such considerations from politburo members.
OnePlus, a Chinese maker of Android-based smartphones, plans to introduce a Touch ID-like fingerprint sensor built into the display in a new phone later this year. Good for them. They may manufacture tens of thousands of such devices. Apple needs manufacturing capability in the 10’s of millions for such new features.
So, when will the Mac get Face ID?
Soon. But not soon enough. I want one.