What Do iOS App Developers Need to Know about iPhone X Face ID Technology

Anshul Sharma
Anshul Sharma, CEO & Business Head at Fluper Limited
Published on Nov 21, 2018 in iOS Developers Resources
What Do iOS App Developers Need to Know about iPhone X Face ID Technology

Technology leader Apple is a world well-known company in the league of Smartphone users across the globe. It is a trademark in itself and does not require any marketing strategies and key skills to record a boost in sales. Last year, Apple created a lot of buzz in the Smartphone industry with the launch of new, expensive smartphone, the iPhone X. With its unique and exciting features, it stands out from the crowd and has a different league of its own. Due to this, several Android and iOS app developers keep an eye on every minute detail about Apple announcements.

Multiple features make the iPhone X the next big thing. But, one of the most interesting features this iPhone edition holds is exclusive facial recognition system – Face ID. Apple depicts this new technology as the "Future of how we will unlock our smartphones and care for our sensitive information". Yes, it is true that facial recognition technology is not new and it's been also used on Samsung devices for several years. However, the problem is that Samsung's version of facial recognition can be defeated with a photograph; on the other hand, Face ID promises to be much smarter than that.

Apple has designed Face ID as a smarter and more protected option to Touch ID. The facial recognition system takes advantage of iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera system to detain all facial appearance of a user. It even uses a machine-learning algorithm to identify the changes in a user’s appearance. In view of these amazing features, it has been announced that Apple’s Face ID is an innovative facial scanning system available to new iPhone and iPad models. Therefore, users and iOS app developers must understand the important aspects of Face ID in iPhone X to meet the promising mobile application trends. If you are in the iOS app development field, then here are some of the important aspects of Face ID, which you cannot miss.

Performing Different Tasks

What Do iOS App Developers Need to Know about iPhone X Face ID Technology

Not only face ID is used to unlock your phone but also facial recognition systems enables users to perform basic tasks simply by looking at the iPhone X. For example, a user may use a face ID to check messages and notifications, reduce the volume of alarms or ringtones, and keep the screen lit when reading.

Uses Machine Learning

Apple's Face ID system uses Apple's Machine Learning algorithms to identify changes in user appearance. This includes keeping up to date with changing appearances, such as when you are growing a beard or wearing sunglasses. In this case, the infrared light can see through those sunglasses to detect your gaze, and the system will still recognize you if enough data points match.

Uses Neural Engine

Another feature is the “neural engine,” which is part of the new A11 processor that Apple developed to power the iPhone X. The neural engine helped power the iPhone X’s Face ID facial-recognition unlock system and the Animoji feature that transposes a person’s facial expressions onto animated pictures. Apple says the new neural engine helps the new phones to take improved and great pictures. The best part is that mobile app developers can play with the power of Apple’s new neural engine through Core ML. Core ML is a framework that the company offers to help programmers organize machine learning on iOS devices.

Introduces TrueDepth Camera System

Another advanced feature in iPhone X is TrueDepth Camera System. It adds an infrared emitter that projects over 30,000 dots in a known pattern onto the user’s expression. Those dots are further photographed by a dedicated infrared camera for analysis. Once this process confirmed the authenticity of the infrared image, iPhone will be unlocked for the user. The feature does not allow a similar-looking person, a photograph, a mask, or other techniques to unlock your phone.

Preventing Unauthorized Access

One of the most important considerations for every user as well as app developers is security. Face ID feature of iPhone X does not allow unauthorized access, therefore gaining huge momentum. iPhone X will remain unlocked if the user's eyes are closed. This feature makes it difficult for an unauthorized user to unlock the mobile device. In addition, no user can choose to register multiple faces. Consequently, only one user can unlock and verify with the Face ID.

Allows Mobile Payments

Apart from safety, the best part is that it will work seamlessly with Apple Pay. The user can easily do mobile payments by Face ID. Apart from Touch ID, Apple clearly stated that third-party apps, will be able to allow a Face ID authentication, and iOS only informs the app whether or not the match was accurate. Apple remarks that iOS app developers can create encryption keys protected by Face ID that is stored in an iPhone X’s Secure Enclave. These keys can be also used by the developer’s app fully within the Secure Enclave, performing operations which are as protected as Apple Pay and biometric detection.

Impact on Touch ID

Moreover, if we see its impact on touch ID, then it is clearly said that Face ID in iPhone X transforms iOS app development by replacing Touch ID. If you’ve had trouble with Touch ID and your fingerprints over time, then Face ID is the solution. Apple plans to bring Face ID to other iOS devices gradually. Hence, the app developers have to ensure that a user has the option to use Face ID or Touch ID according to his iOS device or whatever he or she would like to prefer. Also, Apple allows iOS app developers to apply the new facial scanning system simply by replacing Touch ID code with Face ID code.

Wrapping Up

When Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the iPhone X last year, he claimed that it would “set the path for technology for the next decade”. And it became true, because of some out-of-the-box features it holds, like artificial intelligence, TrueDepth camera, Augmented Reality and many more. Considering these amazing features, mobile app development companies must explore how Face ID can be supported for existing iOS applications.

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About the author
Anshul SharmaCEO & Business Head at Fluper Limited

Mr. Anshul Sharma is responsible for overall Executive Operations, Pre-Sales, Technical Functioning, and Structuring of Corporation. With extensive experience of 4+ Years in Sales and Marketing, he is a deserving and competent architect to forecast a...

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