IPhone X re­lies on face tech work­ing

Sunshine Coast Daily - - LIFE | GAMES AND GADGETS - JEN­NIFER DUD­LEY-NI­CHOL­SON Jen­nifer Dud­ley-Ni­chol­son trav­elled to Cu­per­tino as a guest of Ap­ple.

DOROTHY of Oz once said there was no place like home and Ap­ple con­firmed it.

The tech gi­ant’s new top model smart­phone loses its home but­ton for the first time in its 10-year his­tory and it’s im­me­di­ately con­fus­ing.

Yes, the iPhone X looks strik­ing and fu­tur­is­tic, with its big­ger-than-ever 5.8-inch edge-to-edge dis­play.

Yes, the dis­play’s colours are brighter and bolder thanks to OLED tech­nol­ogy and a Su­per Retina res­o­lu­tion.

Sure, its stain­less steel sides flow seam­lessly on to its front and back glass pan­els, and its ever-so-slightly heav­ier body feels well weighted.

But how do you use this phone without a home but­ton?

De­spite years test­ing Ap­ple’s hand­sets, I found my­self slightly dumb­struck be­fore it.

Thank­fully, the ad­just­ments are easy to make ... as long as some­one ex­plains them to you.

To wake this phone, you lift it or dou­ble-tap it. To un­lock this phone, you look at it while it scans your face.

Mov­ing a fin­ger up the phone’s screen will make the lock screen dis­ap­pear or get you out of an ap­pli­ca­tion, and hold­ing your fin­ger half­way up the screen will show all your open apps.

They’re sim­ple ges­tures but it will prob­a­bly take some time for 10-year Ap­ple iPhone veter­ans to stop press­ing the bot­tom of the screen and qui­etly swear­ing at them­selves.

And while this change might rep­re­sent a mild an­noy­ance, there are se­ri­ous ques­tions swirling around Touch ID’s re­place­ment.

Ap­ple says its ad­vanced, 3D face-scan­ning tech­nol­ogy, Face ID, is more se­cure, with a one in one mil­lion chance some­one else can foil it, com­pared to a one in 50,000 chance with the iPhone’s fin­ger­print reader.

But, in mul­ti­ple demon­stra­tions, I watched iPhone ex­perts try and fail to un­lock the handset with their first at­tempt.

That doesn’t mean it’s not se­cure, of course, but it could mean that you spend more time eye­ing off your phone in frus­tra­tion than just touch­ing your thumb to its big but­ton and us­ing it.

In front of a 1000-strong au­di­ence in Ap­ple Park’s Steve Jobs Theater, Face ID failed to un­lock the iPhone X handset and in­stead asked for Mr Fed­erighi’s pass­code.

While it worked on the soft­ware leader’s sec­ond at­tempt with a dif­fer­ent iPhone X handset, some have ques­tioned the ef­fi­ciency of the crit­i­cal se­cu­rity fea­ture, which will likely be used many times each day by iPhone X users as they un­lock their smart­phones.

The er­ror mes­sage dis­played on stage — “Your pass­code is re­quired to en­able Face ID” — may sim­ply have in­di­cated that his iPhone X had sim­ply been restarted be­fore the pre­sen­ta­tion, how­ever.

Ul­ti­mately, the suc­cess of the Ap­ple iPhone X will hang on the suc­cess of Face ID, whether it proves both se­cure and easy to use.

Po­ten­tial buy­ers will also have to get past its price, be­tween $1579 and $1829, and wait un­til Novem­ber 3.

As­sum­ing all of those con­di­tions can be met, Ap­ple’s 10th iPhone looks like its most so­phis­ti­cated and most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced to date.

PHOTO: MAR­CIO JOSE SANCHEZ

Phil Schiller, Ap­ple's se­nior vice-pres­i­dent of world­wide mar­ket­ing, dis­cusses fea­tures of the new iPhone X.

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