iPhone X and Face ID — impractical for daily use

As soon as Apple announced iPhone X and the fact that it doesn’t have Touch ID I knew I won’t be buying it. That was not the only reason, the screen cut-off, the price, they are all the reasons why I would not buy iPhone X and I will talk about it in other posts. But now I would like to focus on Face ID and how impractical it is for daily use.

If you remember, before fingerprint sensors (Touch ID etc.) most of users didn’t have passcode on their phones to lock the device. Touch ID brought us both ease of use and security. It gave us ability to make our devices and data more secure but still getting to it really fast.

Try to think about how many times per day, per week, per month, you lock/unlock your phone. Try to think about how do you do it, where is your phone located in the moment you want to pick it up and use it. I will try to show couple of (important) daily use cases that make Face ID impractical and slower then Touch ID.

  • You are sitting at your desk and your iPhone X sits flat on the desk. You want to slowly checkout messages without picking it up. With Touch ID you just use your finger without picking it up and you get what you want. How would you do that with Face ID? You could put your face above the iPhone to unlock it, but as you can see you would need to move your head just to unlock the device. You could also pick up the iPhone to unlock it, but as I said, you want to unlock it without picking it up.
  • You use car mount for your iPhone, for navigation etc. You are driving and you stop at parking spot to pickup your friend. You want to check your phone, if you have Touch ID you just use your finger and thats it. If you have iPhone X you need to remove the iPhone from the mount or move your head every time you want to do it. Ok, you could say that you should not use your phone while driving, and that is ok, but I am not talking about that. :)
  • Your iPhone is in your pocket and you want to take it out and make a call. If you have Touch ID you can unlock it as you are picking it up from the pocket and it will be unlocked the second before you see the screen. If you have Face ID you will pick it up and you will have to hold in in front of your face to unlock it, how practical can that be? :D

I could write more and more cases but I think you get the picture. Face ID might be more secure than Touch ID, but when you think about pros and cons, daily usage, it just doesn’t win. Even Craig Federighi had a problem with unlocking the device with Face ID and had to use backup device on stage to show it. I really like Craig and I was sorry for him at that moment, but he was the only one interesting at the event, but with all that other people turning their heads to presentation notes, he already won. :D

I would pick Touch ID anytime instead of Face ID, it gives great security and speed, Face ID gives more security but all that use cases I mentioned crush that security facts.

As Apple said, iPhone X is the future. I would say it is preview of the future, a sneak peak. Specs are great, but Face ID is impractical, screen cut-off has more cons than pros. Gestures used to switch between the apps, gestures used to open notification and control center are different than on other iOS devices, that inconsistency is not good, not good at all. We can also mention the price, but if the price was smaller I still would not buy it instead of iPhone 8 (plus). I hope that the next version of the X (maybe called Y) will have some version of home button and Touch ID, they make using iPhone faster and practical during the day.