Apple's iPhone X will ditch its fingerprint sensor in favor of a multi-camera system, but it still expects some users to opt for a PIN code.
In eliminating the fingerprint sensor to accommodate an edge-to-edge display, Apple had to redesign a lot of the ways its smartphone handles common interactions, especially payments. And while the company touted the strength of its new Face ID system
, it came with a few words of caution.
"If you happen to have an evil twin, you really need to protect your sensitive data with a passcode," warned Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, when announcing the company's newest smartphones.
When picked up by a stranger, that stranger has a one in a million chance of being able to trick the camera — a huge improvement from the one in 50,000 chance with Touch ID, which Schiller described as the "gold standard" of biometric authentication. The odds get lower when people such as family members share traits with the phone's owner, but it has protections against being unlocked by a sleeping user's face or a photo of the user.
"Face ID also works with Apple Pay," Schiller said. "You look at iPhone X to authenticate and hold it near the payment terminal to pay."
Third-party financial and security apps like Mint, 1Password and E-Trade also support Face ID authentication, Schiller said. The iPhone 8, announced alongside the iPhone X, still uses Touch ID instead of Face ID.