Why Face ID may never support multiple users

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VCSEL
The laser in the iPhone X's Face ID could one day transform the speed of broadband.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Face ID on iPhone X was designed to be operated by just one user, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

Apple’s Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, says there are no plans to add multi-user support.

Face ID is better than Touch ID in almost every way. It’s more versatile and significantly more secure. But Touch ID did have one advantage: You could save multiple fingerprints, which meant you could add multiple users if you wanted to.

Face ID won’t support more than one face

That wasn’t what Apple had in mind, however. Touch ID was only supposed to be used by one person — and that’s exactly how Face ID was designed. Apple has no plans of changing that, according to an email, allegedly from Federighi, posted on Reddit.

“Currently, we’re focusing Face ID on single-user authentication,” Federighi told one iPhone X user.

“Even Touch ID’s multi-finger support was really intended to enable a single iPhone owner to unlock the device with a finger and thumb on both hands, not to enable multi-user authentication.”

Apple may change its mind later, but you shouldn’t get your hopes up. It makes sense for devices like computers and tablets to support multiple users, but smartphones are typically used by just one person. How often do you let someone else use yours?