Apple has improved the experience in software to speed up the failover to PIN entry, but Face ID has been rendered practically useless for me for months now. As the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, I’ve missed the reliability of Touch ID. Apple’s Face ID tech also doesn’t work well when an iPhone is sitting flat on a desk and requires your attention (by default) to unlock the device.
While Apple has been rumored to be including in-screen fingerprint technology inside iPhones for months, we’ve yet to see anything materialize. Adopting the iPad’s fingerprint sensor into the iPhone’s power button would allow for Face ID, Touch ID, and a great screen, using technology the company is already comfortable with.
Apple’s new iPad Air is the first major change to Touch ID in years, and it paves the way for a similar system on the iPhone SE models and hopefully the larger iPhones that currently use Face ID.
Android device makers have already embedded fingerprint sensors in displays and power buttons. The in-screen variants have been hit and miss, though, with reliability issues that could have held back Apple from adopting similar technology over the past couple of years. Early in-screen sensors were slow to authenticate, but newer devices seem to have caught up. All but the newest of button sensors have had issues, too. Apple’s reputation is to only introduce new tech once it’s ready, so I’m willing to assume the iPad’s sensor is just as fast and reliable as the company claims.