Face ID is Apple’s primary focus for biometric security these days, leaving Touch ID in the past and trudging forward wit the face unlock feature.
Before the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR were unveiled, there was some hope that Apple would add support for landscape Face ID, which would allow owners to use the biometric security measure to unlock their device without requiring the single portrait orientation. But now that the new iPhones are here and we know landscape support isn’t in the mix, eyes are on future devices.
Early rumors had suggested the iPad Pro refresh expected at several different times this year would be the devices to add landscape support for Face ID. Now, following the first developer seed of iOS 12.1 on Tuesday, another hint at landscape support has been discovered. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith took to Twitter to post this:
Face ID has support for landscape orientation (presumably for iPad only), and iOS 12.1 seems to care a lot more about whether an external display is connected (perhaps due to iPad USB-C rumors; it won't have the Lighting HDMI adapter as an intermediary for video-out)
— Steve Troughton-Smith (@stroughtonsmith) September 18, 2018
Troughton-Smith then goes on to add in a separate tweet that supporting landscape Face ID would require the realignment of the front-facing cameras as part of the TrueDepth camera system. Because of that, this hint within the iOS 12.1 beta seems to be suggesting we could see this new feature arrive on new hardware — not existing devices.
What Apple is planning on doing remains unknown, but the rumor mill has been working tirelessly to try and guess. We have heard in the past that landscape support for Face ID is indeed in the works for new iPad Pro models, which should be unveiled at some point before the end of 2018. However, we have also heard that Apple is planning on introducing a new Smart Connector on the future tablets, which would facilitate Face ID only working in portrait mode on the devices. This is also not the first time that early iOS 12 software has hinted at Face ID’s arrival on the iPad Pro lineup.
What do you think? If Apple adds Face ID support in the iPad Pro models, which seems like a certainty at this point, does it need to also support landscape support? Or would portrait-only work for you, too?