Don’t Treat Face ID as an Extra Step

Mark Spoonauer, writing for Tom’s Guide:

I’ve been using Face ID on the iPhone X for more than 24 hours, and I don’t need a stopwatch to tell you that it unlocks my phone slower than when I was using Touch ID on my older iPhone 7 Plus. I used a stopwatch app anyway to prove my point.

With Face ID on the iPhone X, it took 1.2 seconds from pressing the side button to the iPhone X’s screen turning on and for the phone to recognize me and unlock the device. And it was another 0.4 seconds to swipe up to get to the lock screen. Total time: 1.8 seconds.

On my iPhone 7 Plus, I could get to the home screen just by pressing and holding my thumb on the Touch ID sensor in an average of 0.91 seconds. That might not seem like a lot of time, but it adds up quickly when you’re unlocking your phone dozens of time a day.

There is a workaround of sorts, though. You can swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone X’s screen even while the iPhone X is looking for your face. Sometimes you might briefly see the word “Face ID” flash as the iPhone X transitions to the home screen, but you will still get to start using your phone faster.

This is not a “workaround”. This is how you’re supposed to unlock iPhone X. Starting with a tap of the side button is not how you’re supposed to do it — you’re creating a two-step process where you only need one.

If raise-to-wake kicks in and turns on the display, all you need to do is swipe up from the bottom. Don’t wait for the lock icon to change — don’t even worry about it. Just swipe up. If raise-to-wake hasn’t kicked in, and you’re holding your iPhone X in your hand with the display off, just tap the screen near the bottom and immediately swipe up. The best way to use Face ID is to pretend it isn’t even there, and just swipe up from the home indicator.

Tapping the screen to wake the display is one of my favorite features so far. There’s really no reason to use the side button to wake the phone.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017