Federighi on Face ID, sunglasses and theft: Shades are not a problem, but getting your iPhone X stolen is

Face ID, Apple's new security and authentication method for the iPhone X, has been the object of various controversies from the moment it was announced at Apple's September event. From the perceived failed attempt of Craig Federighi to unlock the iPhone X using Face ID during the keynote, down to legitimate concerns about the security and privacy of users' data, the system will have a lot to prove when the X launches.

In the mean time, iOS developer Keith Krimbel has emailed Apple with some questions regarding Face ID, and he has got an interesting response back, one that should shed some more light on how the feature will work and what Apple has done to prevent possible exposure of sensitive user data in unfortunate scenarios, such as theft.

First off, will Face ID work with sunglasses? Indeed it will, Federighi says, with most types of sunglasses, at least. Apple's SVP of software engineering says that most sunglasses, even completely opaque-looking ones, will let enough IR light through to let the camera do its work, but things may not go so well if you have glasses with really thick or dark lenses.

Next question Krimbel asked was, "What will prevent a thief from taking my phone, pointing it at my face and running?", to which Federighi responded with two possible solutions, or at least "mitigations," as he puts it: "If you don't stare at the phone, it won't unlock," and "If you grip the buttons on both sides of the phone when you hand it over, it will temporarily disable Face ID."

So there you have it folks, if someone tries to steal your iPhone X, simply either look away or press all the buttons before handing it to the thief!

Just kidding, sheesh!

Here's the email Krimbel got in response to his questions:



1. tangbunna

Posts: 495; Member since: Sep 29, 2016

funny. human nature is staring things that comes toward them. thief lift the phone towards you, isnt an exception neither.

15. ibend2

Posts: 159; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Look at the bright side.. It's easier for police to unlock you phone when you're under arrest.. /s

2. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Come to think of it, Face ID unlocking the device as soon as the screen is on could be a bummer in this situation. If someone hijacks your phone, you're not gonna just close your eyes or look away at first instance, you're gonna be shocked, which is perfect moment to unlock the device. I think it would be better to require the thief focus on the screen for a moment and attempt interacting with it before facing it to you, that should give the owner little chance to fight back before the thief takes off. Just my 2 cents.

5. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

Wifes will be like - "honey turn around for a moment pls" Husband turns and see his phone just in front of his face- "Oh bummer" . Just kidding

3. Xilam unregistered

In defense, I have never Heard of a case where a theif would expose himself just to unlock the device that he just pickpoketed/swiped from you. If it's a straight up mugging (with a weapon) and theif wants it unlocked - then you're going to unlock it regardless of what Phone u use (FP, passcode, pattern, iris, or faceID) - it's not worth your life. In any case, grab anything with internet and go to iCloud.com>find my phone, then wipe the device immediately, set it as "stolen", and even track it (if you plan to present its whereabouts to police)


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

In the future apple will say no sir you need special apple sunglasses to unlock. Unlocking will not work with other brands, it will only cost you 350 euros to purchase these awesome shades......iFans will go nuts because it's going to be revolutionary!

8. whatev

Posts: 2444; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Congrats, you just made the stupidest comment of the month, here take your badge for this achievement, level 2 of the dumbest fandroid is unlocked


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

iSheep butthurt, i can't blame you and i fully understand your pain.

14. whatev

Posts: 2444; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

Lol, that’s funny projecting yourself in others, just show your psychological fragility, go to the shrink to treat that inferiority complex son

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

who cares if they unlock it, you still can't do anything harmful without knowing the passcode and icloud password. Worse they can do is make a call that might cost you a little something lol. simply log into your icloud use find my phone to lock it and contact the police.

21. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Ever heard of spare parts? Here in India, an Apple iPhone 7 Plus display can be replaced for $125 in Grey market which people prefer compared to Apple care which demands $250 :(. Thief sells an iPhone 7 plus for a mere $200 & that person makes around $400 easily with its expensive spares, very very sad but true :(. Also these iCloud locked phones from western markets are sold in developing markets for half the price of new one.

22. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I didn't say there was no reason to steal a locked iPhone but caring about rather the phone is unlocked or not when it gets stole is irrelevant. As for that last bit, if it's iCloud locked it doesn't matter where it comes from you can't use it for anything but parts.

7. YeahYeah

Posts: 251; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

iris scanner.... i repeat this is an iris scanner...

23. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

No, it's not. But it could face the same issuas the iris scanner as both could be used to unlock the phone by poiniting it at your face. Just more possible with the iPhone X.

9. nenadmitrovic

Posts: 64; Member since: Aug 01, 2014

Do i need to have backup phone if face id fail first time when i get robbed?

11. DellB

Posts: 57; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

So "faceID" = "Iris Scanner". Yet, phonearena listed it as one of their Apple first.

13. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Well it is a "first" for Apple so there is that.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Too many steps involved in RACE IS 1. Tap, or pick it up 2. Swipe 3 look at it 4. Swipe, cause unlock still leaves you on the lock screen And since you have to have you eyes open, it's really just an iris scanner. Really Apple...reallyyyyyy...

16. cmdacos

Posts: 4383; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

It sounded good in the key note though... lol

19. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Exactly lol. Apple, and its marketing.

17. cmdacos

Posts: 4383; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

It sounded good in the key note though... lol

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 31760; Member since: Feb 05, 2011


20. lnhrts

Posts: 29; Member since: Apr 27, 2015

Really folks!? For those people that are seriously contemplating this article regarding someone stealing your smartphone...any smartphone can be stolen. Just because the trolls have a fixation on a given brand doesn't put the responsibility of anti theft of a physical device, of any brand, on the manufacturer. If you trolls are going to troll at least be less ridiculous about it. Although, I do get a good laugh from time to time and if I ever feel a little challenged in the knowledge department, all I need to do is read some of the comments here and I quickly realize I am actually quite intelligent. Have an awesome day everyone!

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