Face ID can be slower than Touch ID, but you can speed it up


Face ID iPhone X
Ensure Face ID is as fast as it can be.
Photo: UrAvgConsumer

Face ID is the future, and it’s easy to see why. It’s significantly more secure than Touch ID, and it eliminates a number of big limitations. But it’s not quite perfect yet.

Those who are lucky enough to have received a unit early from Apple have discovered that Face ID is slower than its predecessor. There are some things you can do to speed it up, though.

There’s a 1 in 50,000 chance a random person could unlock your iPhone with Touch ID, Apple says. But there’s a 1 in 1 million chance the same could happen with Face ID. Experts say it’s two years ahead of rival facial recognition systems.

Face ID is amazing

What’s more, Face ID adapts to changes in your appearance over time. It works when you’re wearing sunglasses or a hat, and has no trouble identifying you in the dark. Unlike Touch ID, it also works when your hands are wet.

Face ID doesn’t beat Touch ID in speed, however. Tom’s Guide discovered it takes around 1.48 seconds to unlock an iPhone X with your face, whereas an iPhone 7 Plus can be unlocked with Touch ID in under a second.

You can make Face ID faster

There are some things you can do to make Face ID faster, though. The first is to ensure the Raise to Wake feature is enabled in Settings. This shaves off precious time by eliminating the need to swipe or tap the iPhone X’s display before you unlock it.

“If raise-to-wake kicks in and turns on the display, all you need to do is swipe up from the bottom. Don’t wait for the lock icon to change — don’t even worry about it,” says Daring Fireball’s John Gruber.

Another thing you can do is disable attention detection. This means Face ID won’t wait until your eyes and face are looking directly at the display before unlocking your iPhone. But be warned: It does make Face ID a little less secure.


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