Face ID is a great technology and one so good that the iPhone X, XS and XR don’t have a fingerprint sensor. Touch ID last appeared on 2017’s iPhone 8 but reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest report states we might see it return in 2021 on an iPhone that also has Face ID.
As reported by 9to5Mac, Kuo says that Apple will wait until 2021’s iPhone to integrate in-screen fingerprint technology so that it meets its incredibly high user experience bar. This is very usual for Apple – it isn’t normally first to introduce cutting edge tech into its phones but when it does you can bet it’ll work very, very well.
Face ID is a case in point. Face unlock on Android phones predates it but the 2017 iPhone X’s 3D face mapping tech was so much more reliable and more secure. Even now in 2019 we think it is the best face recognition technology on any consumer device after it made its way to the iPad Pro too.
So why would Apple need to bring Touch ID back and under the screen? It could be that it thinks some users miss the fingerprint sensor, iconic as it was to the iPhone design for a decade. Maybe Apple wants to bring back the famous, nostalgic circular home button icon in software form.
More likely is that Apple feels having both options on the device will make for an even more secure user experience. Two forms of biometric authentication are better than one after all.
Current Android phones that have in-screen fingerprint sensors for biometrics often cannot use the facial recognition to authenticate as it uses the front facing camera in an insecure 2D fashion. Apple’s reported solution would bring two forms of secure ID to the iPhone and could potentially allow for two-factor authentication via face and fingerprint rather than the current Apple method of a code displayed on your other Apple devices.
Of course, we are a long way off from the 2021 iPhone, with September’s launch of the new iPhone much more in our minds. We’ll have to wait and see if this latest rumour proves to be true – but it does make a lot of sense.