Apple’s upcoming release of iOS 12 will indicate the release of new iPad and iPhone X Plus models by adding horizontal Face ID support, as per the claims made from Japanese Apple blog Macotakara 1 and Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman. Apples’ annual worldwide developer’s conference is only a month away, the company generally declares its upcoming OS updates.
Face ID was introduced last year with the launch of iPhone X. It relies on a depth-sensing front camera to recognize the user’s face for screen unlocking, Apple Pay purchasing, and other security features. By replacing Touch ID, Face ID enabled Apple to entirely eliminate the Home button found on every iPhone since the first model, enlarging the iPhone X’s screen in the process. But unlike Touch ID, which worked with fingers on any angle, Face ID currently only works when the phone is held upright with its front-facing camera above the screen.
According to Gurman, the addition of horizontal Face ID to iOS 12 is “for the iPads”, referring to updates expected later this year for the iPad Pro. Apple seems to be preparing for revised versions of the 10.5- and 12.9-inch iPad models with Face ID rather than Touch ID hardware, increasing their screen sizes.
Most of the times, iPads are used horizontally rather than vertically. Hence, making the Face ID work in the horizontal orientation is going to be a pretty good decision for Apple. The same improvement would also likely to benefit the larger version of the iPhone X that’s said to be in the works for later this year.
Macotakara says that the Plus-sized model of the iPhone X will have roughly the same dimensions as the iPhone 8 Plus. It will have a 6.5-inch display (versus earlier 5.5-inch displays) and a 0.2mm-thicker chassis. As the screen on this model would be less than 2 inches smaller on the diagonal than an iPad mini. It too might be used substantially in the horizontal orientation, requiring a more flexible Face ID approach.
The MWC event next month will clarify our doubts regarding if these are just rumors or actually going to happen this year. Till then, stay tuned with Tech Includes.