| Cult of Mac

Apple hasn’t given up on Face ID for MacBooks


No Face ID in MacBook Pro is a missed opportunity
There’d be far fewer complaints about the MacBook Pro notch if it included Face ID.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple just received a patent that covers building Face ID into a MacBook. The facial-recognition system is not a feature of any Mac … yet. But the new patent serves as evidence that Apple is still at least considering the idea of replacing Touch ID with Face ID in its notebook line.

How to join the awesome password-free future and use passkeys


No More Passwords
Passkeys are here, and I’m here to tell you they’re awesome.
Image: Santeri Viinamäki/Wikimedia Commons, D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Managing passwords is and always has been a giant pain. It isn’t the best system, but it’s the system we’ve got. Well, not if Apple can do anything about it. Passkeys are a new system that automatically signs you in to online services using your phone’s Face ID (or Touch ID) or your computer’s password. It’s one less thing to remember; it works without fiddling around with a password manager.

Passkeys aren’t an Apple-exclusive feature. You can bet the technology will be supported no matter what devices you have because all of these companies are part of the FIDO Alliance that created the system … eventually.

Apple fully supports it in iOS 16 and Safari 16 for Mac, as does Google’s Chrome browser on multiple platforms. Android 9 and above supports passkeys via Credential Manager, and Google just this week added passkey support to user accounts on “all major platforms.” (Microsoft won’t add it to Windows until later this year. Until every platform supports passkeys, you can still use your passwords to sign in.)

Follow along as I show you how passkeys work.

iPhone 16 could shrink the Dynamic Island with under-display Face ID


iPhone 16 could shrink the Dynamic Island with under-display Face ID
iPhone 16 Pro might show only a holepunch camera.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Face ID sensors reportedly will be hidden from users in next year’s iPhone 16 Pro. That would free up space for more screen area.

If true, under-display Face ID might mean that the days of the Dynamic Island are numbered, even though the feature only recently debuted in the iPhone 14 Pro.

Apple, Google and Microsoft expand support for passwordless sign‑ins


Face ID
You could soon be using Face ID to sign into more websites and applications.
Photo: Apple

Apple, Google and Microsoft committed themselves to expand support for a passwordless sign-in standard. The goal is to make it easier for websites and applications to offer consistent, secure and easy passwordless sign-ins.

It’s a move toward greater support for biometric security systems like the ones already included in iPhone, Mac and iPad.

iPhone 16 could finally nullify notch with under-display camera and Face ID


An iPhone without any sort of notch or pill could be coming in 2024.
An iPhone without any sort of notch or pill could be coming in 2024.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

As rumors fly about the upcoming iPhone 14 series, a top analyst is doubling down on his recent assertion that high-end iPhones in 2024 — likely iPhone 16 Pro models — will feature an under-display camera along with under-display Face ID.

If Apple analyst Min-Chi Kuo’s tweet Wednesday turns out to be accurate, the new under-display tech would most likely finally nullify any need for a notch and possibly the pinhole-and-pill design expected in iPhone 14.

Apple can now repair Face ID on iPhone X without replacing the device


face id
Easier and more affordable for everyone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Store technicians and Authorized Service Providers can now repair Face ID issues on iPhone X without replacing the entire handset.

Apple last month began performing Face ID repairs on newer iPhone models, but iPhone X was excluded from the list of supported devices. A leaked internal memo reveals that the 2017 flagship has now been included.

Apple just can’t give up the iPhone notch


iphone 12 without notch
Tipsters agree, an iPhone without a notch is on Apple’s drawing board. But not as soon as we might like.
Photo: ConceptsiPhone

The good news is that Apple will bring in-display Face ID to the iPhone, finally eliminating the distinctive “notch” at the top of the touchscreen. The bad news is that it’s reportedly not happening as soon as possible.

This means we’re still years away from an iPhone with a truly edge-to-edge display.

iPhone might never get in-screen Touch ID


iPhone 14 won‘t include in-screen Touch ID
Bad news: Looks like an iPhone with an in-display Touch ID scanner will remain only a dream.
Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

An in-screen fingerprint scanner won’t be part of any iPhone for at least three years, according to a trusted analyst. That raises the strong possibility that Touch ID will never again be part of Apple’s flagship smartphones — despite occasional rumors to the contrary.

Apple may have abandoned the idea after a recent improvement to Face ID.

iPhone 15 Pro could hide Face ID sensors beneath its screen


iPhone 15 Pro could have hidden Face ID sensors
Samsung is already hiding cameras on its Z Fold3.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

iPhone 15 Pro, which is expected to make its debut in 2023, could be Apple’s first handset with Face ID sensors hidden beneath its screen. This would reduce the amount of display space the front-facing sensors require.

A new report claims Apple will use technology currently being developed by Samsung to make the upgrade possible. In the meantime, Cupertino is gearing up to replace iPhone’s notch with a number of smaller, more subtle cutouts.

How to set up Face ID with a mask (and glasses) in iOS 15.4


iPhone setting up Face ID with a mask
You will be prompted to set up Face ID with a mask after installing iOS 15.4.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

New in iOS 15.4, released today, Apple is extending Face ID to authenticate your face while wearing a mask. In my testing, it has increased the reliability and the number of situations in which Face ID works.

This feature is arriving late into the pandemic — it would have been great to have this for the past couple of years — but as new COVID variants surge, we may still need it for the foreseeable future. Plus, in some countries, wearing a mask when you’re sick has been standard for many years.

Here’s how to set up Face ID with a mask on your iPhone.