Potential issues with Face ID versus Touch ID?

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jtbell

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Potential issues with Face ID versus Touch ID?
It looks like sometime in the next few days I'm going to buy a new iPhone to replace my 5S. I've been thinking about this for almost a year, but now it's become somewhat urgent because my wife needs to replace her old Nokia non-smartphone soon. According to our cellular provider (Consumer Cellular), the AT&T and Verizon networks that they re-sell are phasing out the 3G service that the Nokia uses. So our plan is for me to get my new iPhone, then hand the 5S down to her.

She'll probably need to buy a new iPhone at some point anyway because iOS 13 which comes out next month won't support phones before the 6S. But at least she can get started with iOS using the 5S. She already uses an iPad at home, so an iPhone won't be a shock for her.

So, my candidates are the iPhone XR ($750) and the 8 ($600). The 8 is obviously cheaper, but I'll likely be able to keep the XR longer before future versions of iOS no longer support it. I've got the money, so I don't mind paying more now if I get more years of service out of it.

The other big factor for me is that the 8 uses Touch ID (thumbprint) which has worked well for me on the 5S, whereas the XR uses Face ID. I'm a bit concerned about the reliability of Face ID, because I have at two or three different "appearances." Indoors, I always wear eyeglasses. Outdoors, while driving, I wear large wraparound sunglasses on top of the eyeglasses. Outdoors, outside the car, I also usually wear a baseball-type cap. (Supposedly Face ID can handle caps or hats.)

So I'm a bit concerned whether Face ID can handle all these circumstances, even with its ability to define an "alternate appearance" (similar to an "alternate thumbprint" for Touch ID). If any of you all use an iPhone with Face ID, how well has it worked, and how often do you need to fall back on your passcode?
 
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Why not both of you get the same phone so that you can explore them together and your software updates will be in sync? and get matching Apple T-shirts too.

I'm sure the 5S will fall off the iOS update sometime soon as the new batch of phones debut this fall.


6 Years is longer than the average time to upgrade. Businesses upgrade their hardware every 3 years whereas home users upgrade every five years. (I planning to upgrade my mac-mini at 8 years due to wakeup issues.)

My wife has an iPhone XS and the face recognition works well it rejects me but accepts her go figure. I haven't tried any tricks with it like showing the phone a photo of her and I'm not sure if that'll work. (Hmm have to try that sometime.)

I have touch ID on my 6Plus phone. It works well too. I've heard that people can use tape to lift a fingerprint and use it to open the phone. I've never tried it but there are some reports online:


I also heard the story of a six year old girl who went on a shopping spree using her mom's fingerprint. The mom was sleeping and the girl quietly went over with the phone and pressed her thumb to the sensor to open it up and bingo.

 

anorlunda

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I also heard the story of a six year old girl who went on a shopping spree using her mom's fingerprint. The mom was sleeping and the girl quietly went over with the phone and pressed her thumb to the sensor to open it up and bingo.
Good point. It should be trivially easy for a child to get access to a parent's phone and then add their own fingerprint. Iphone can store more than 1 fingerprint I presume.
 
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Summary: Potential issues with Face ID versus Touch ID?

The other big factor for me is that the 8 uses Touch ID (thumbprint) which has worked well for me on the 5S, whereas the XR uses Face ID. I'm a bit concerned about the reliability of Face ID, because I have at two or three different "appearances." Indoors, I always wear eyeglasses. Outdoors, while driving, I wear large wraparound sunglasses on top of the eyeglasses. Outdoors, outside the car, I also usually wear a baseball-type cap. (Supposedly Face ID can handle caps or hats.)

So I'm a bit concerned whether Face ID can handle all these circumstances, even with its ability to define an "alternate appearance" (similar to an "alternate thumbprint" for Touch ID). If any of you all use an iPhone with Face ID, how well has it worked, and how often do you need to fall back on your passcode?
I've been using FaceID for a year and it's pretty much bullet proof. It works when I have no glasses, my reading glasses and sunglasses on, and works when I wear a cap. You can also put a second identity on the phone, so you can take another faceID of yourself with your glasses and your cap on if you do run into trouble
 

jtbell

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I've been using FaceID for a year and it's pretty much bullet proof. [...]
That sounds good, thanks!

I've put off my purchase for a couple of weeks. After Apple announces this fall's new iPhones on Sept. 10 (presumably), they'll probably reduce the prices of older models. I could have saved some money on my 5S if I had waited until the next announcement about a month later.

Also, it turns out that the issue with my wife's 3G Nokia isn't as urgent as we thought it might be. AT&T's 3G shutdown isn't going to be complete until the beginning of 2022. I suspect that rural areas like ours will probably be the last to lose 3G, and the last to receive 5G service.

6 Years is longer than the average time to upgrade.
I actually bought my 5S four years ago, when it was a 2-year-old model. Maybe I'll get 5 years out of the XR, since it will be a year "younger" when I buy it.
 

jtbell

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I've put off my purchase for a couple of weeks. After Apple announces this fall's new iPhones on Sept. 10 (presumably), they'll probably reduce the prices of older models.
They did reduce the iPhone XR from $750 to $600 when they announced the iPhone 11 two days ago, so I bought the XR today. Face ID works fine so far. It recognizes me with my big sunglasses and/or cap with no problem. It unlocks itself automatically when I simply pick it up and look at it. When my wife does it, she gets the passcode screen.

I like the bigger keyboard buttons when entering text. I don't have to concentrate as hard to avoid tapping the wrong keys.
 

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