Apple SVP Federighi: Touch ID was not intended for multiple users

Apple SVP Federighi: Touch ID was not intended for multiple users
One difference between Touch ID and Face ID (besides the obvious fact that one is a fingerprint sensor and the other is a facial recognition system) is that the former inadvertently supports multiple users, while the latter does not. For the convenience of Touch ID users, multiple fingerprints can be registered so that you can touch the fingerprint button from different angles. This also can be used to allow more than one person to use the same Touch ID enabled iPhone model.

While there are some Apple iPhone X users who would have preferred Apple to offer Face ID support for multiple users (such as the husband and wife that trust each other so much, they each allow the other to register their fingerprint on the other's iPhone), this is not in the cards for the foreseeable future. According to a reddit post made by Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, Apple continues to focus on Face ID as a single user authentication system.


Interestingly, the executive stated that Touch ID was also designed to be used by only one person, who would register the finger and thumb on both hands. The design also happens to allow multiple users to sign-in using their individual fingerprints on the same device. If Federighi is right (and he should know), nothing similar will be available for Face ID, at least for a few years.

source: reddit via BGR

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27 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7167; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You have multiple fingers. So if they allow 5 or 10 fingers to be used, then it's a great bonus that you can use your wife's phone, or she can use your phone as well. It's not like it isn't useful.

4. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Completely agree.... My Sony Xperia XZ allows for 5 fingerprint enrollments, and I register 4 mines (both index and both thumbs for convenience) and the last one is for my wife.... And she did the same with her Xperia X... it is extremely useful for people like us, and also for having an easy way to unlock with different hands or phone positions.

5. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I actually have my thumb and pointer finger registered for both hands and I once had my lower lip registered.....why idk lol!

13. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

It's a security risk. No one should trust anybody as much a s them selves. It can be wife, mom or your own daughter, nothing in this world can be trusted beyond a certain point. Smartphone is a personal computer, thus it should have only one single user. If we want someone else to access our phone in case of emergency we can give them our pass code, problem solved.

18. ph00ny

Posts: 2024; Member since: May 26, 2011

Like you would be singing this tune if FaceID allowed multi user authentication.

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

Wow trust no one but yourself, not even your wife, daughter or mom. You have issues dude. And there's not always the option to give the passcode, like emergencies. And why would a personal computer have only one user? One of my PC's has multiple users on it.

27. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

Firstly - Personal computers have the option for multiple users, Smartphone and PC's are two entirely different devices with different use cases. Secondly - You have some serious issues dude! You should see a therapist, I'm depressed just from reading your comment!!

2. Cat97

Posts: 1855; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Apple will run into many issues with the 1-user limit of FaceID. Most couples use each other's phone at some point. It is very probable that Touch ID was in the cards until the last moment when they decided to go Face ID-only.

3. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Most couples use each other's phone at some point." I've legitimately never EVER seen that line of thought in practice. I've never looked in my spouse's phone, nor she mine. Same goes for previous gfs with one exception... and she was crazy AF.

12. iushnt

Posts: 3085; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

It’s always great to provide options. Then it would be user’s choice.

19. ph00ny

Posts: 2024; Member since: May 26, 2011

Wife and I do not look at each other's phones but we both have access to each other's phone via biometric and passcode access. It's convenient for me to ask her to get on my note 8 and open up skype to send messages to my team at work that i'm currently driving and will shoot a message when i get home. Same goes for the wife's phone where it's convenient for her to have me open her iphone when she's in the kitchen so that she can place a call out to her friends while her hands are full and can't get in the phone

15. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Give the wife your pass code, that's dead simple. But nobody other than you should have the same level of security clearance to your own mobile phone, finger print for both is too easy and too risky. Even a third party can manipulate your wife and get in to your phone easily.

6. gigicoaste

Posts: 442; Member since: Feb 21, 2016

Awesome! Restrict to single user while developers can do whatever they want based on a promise..

7. darkkjedii

Posts: 30959; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Should've put TouchID in the Apple logo. FaceID could still shine, but for those who really like touch, they'd also get the X. Apple limited buyer options.

9. Furbal unregistered

Perfect spot for it.

21. bucky

Posts: 3775; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Nobody wants a fp reader on the back of a phone- there was no choice this year. What you said is as much as Apple users trying to convince themselves that 1 Face ID is good.

25. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

How is no FP at all a better choice than a FP on the back? People might not prefer one on the back, but it's way better than having no FP at all.

8. trouble96

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 02, 2017

When the hell do couples EVER need to use each others phones?! Quit cheating and your wives won’t have to keep track of you

10. worldpeace

Posts: 3124; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

- When you run out of data and need to borrow wife's phone for browsing net or to turn-on wifi tethering without bothering her (My wife got tons of roll-over data plan, so it's really handy sometime) - When you run out of battery - When you charge your own phone and want to play some games while waiting - When you borrow her phone, sometime the phone lock it self because idle time, or you unconsciously press power button, you can unlock it yourself without bothering her and lots more scenarios, go out of your basement and get a wive so you'll know.. or get a GF at least

11. cmdacos

Posts: 4083; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

More curious on what you need to hide from your wife... We use smart unlock on our home wifi. Nothing to hide from each other.

14. Nikolai90

Posts: 50; Member since: May 16, 2017

Face ID is great for those who is having an extra gf or scandal beside their wife. Thanks Apple for getting the user a tons of suspicion from their wife.

16. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Let's not even focus on couples... what about kids? A lot of parents let their kids play games on their phones. With multiple users, multiple profiles can be set - different apps, different authorized uses, different restrictions. Plenty of families use each others devices all the time. Oh wait, Apple did take that into consideration. Disregard my post, kids can use Face ID to unlock their parents' phones.

20. TheOracle1

Posts: 2203; Member since: May 04, 2015

Doesn't IOS allow multiple profiles or at least a guest profile like Android? I've never and will never own an iPhone btw for many reasons. My Xiaomi and Huawei allow you to set up a guest or kids profile and decide what and how (fingerprint, pin or pattern) different areas of the phone can be accessed.

23. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1529; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

LOL+100

26. cmdacos

Posts: 4083; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Exactly! Why is this single face ID profile a big deal? It's already proven to allow others face to get in anyway...

22. Zylam

Posts: 1813; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

Big deal, even if it had multiple user support it wouldn't solve all the other problems iOS 11 has.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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