Apple’s Face ID facial recognition feature has been available on iPhone and iPad since 2017 and 2018 respectively, so you might be wondering why it hasn’t appeared on your iMac or MacBook yet.
The answer, based on all the data available, is that Apple is working on it. There will be some Macs with Face ID in the near future, but they may not be ready in time for a 2021 launch.
In this article, we take a look at the latest clues and leaks and explain when Face ID is likely to land on the Mac.
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Will Face ID arrive on the Mac?
Apple is almost certainly working on Face ID for Mac – there are too many clues to ignore. Sure, a lot can go wrong in the development process, as we’ve seen with AirPower, but it would be a huge surprise if we didn’t see a Mac with Face ID in 2021 or (more likely) 2022.
In July 2020, for example, lynx-eyed reporters spotted code in a beta of macOS Big Sur that hinted at the arrival of the TrueDepth camera – which makes Face ID possible – on the Mac.
And, of course, wherever the TrueDepth camera is located, it will be followed by Face ID, which will allow you to unlock your Mac via facial recognition, as well as automatically log into different sites and services just by looking at the screen.
According to a Bloomberg report, Apple is working on Face ID for the iMac. Bloomberg believes this feature won’t be ready in time for the 2021 iMac update – “Face ID was originally scheduled to arrive in this year’s iMac redesign, but it’s now unlikely to be included in the first iteration of the redesign, ”the site says – but it’s still a long way from Apple to launch a different Mac with Face ID before the end of this year.
When will Face ID be available on Mac?
We expect the first commercially available Mac with Face ID to launch in 2022. According to the Bloomberg report, it seems unlikely that Face ID will be ready for the 2021 iMac update.
But development is well underway and 2022 – even early 2022 – is perfectly plausible.
While taking a look at the beta of macOS in the summer of 2020, 9to5Mac discovered references to a “PearlCamera”, the internal name of the system which was later renamed the TrueDepth camera. The code also referred to functions such as “FaceDetect” and “BioCapture”.
While some aspects of the code are the same as iOS, it’s clearly written for macOS rather than being a direct copy-paste case from iOS through Catalyst. This suggests that the presence of Face ID is not a coincidence or an accident.
However, there are some limitations: Face ID does not seem possible on an Intel Mac. Face ID is one of the new features that Apple’s move to Silicon has made possible.
The processor neural motor element found in iPhones and iPads starting with the A11 is essential for facial recognition.
This isn’t the first claim that future Macs will support Face ID. In mid-June 2020, Twitter user @blue_kanikama tweeted about the discovery of a system file that supported the theory that Face ID would be imminently available on macOS and even tvOS. However, these tweets have since been deleted.
And before that, in March 2020, details of an Apple patent application were released that appeared to show Face ID on a Mac. This patent application was actually filed in September 2019 and is called “Light recognition module to determine a user of a computing device.”.
Will it improve the FaceTime camera?
Hopefully if the TrueDepth camera hits Macs, we’ll also see improved FaceTime cameras, which currently suffer from underwhelming resolutions.
If you’ve ever wondered why your FaceTime camera looks blurry and out of focus, it’s because the resolution is so bad, which we asked Apple to improve.
What is Face ID?
The TrueDepth camera brought Face ID to the iPhone X in 2017. According to Apple, Face ID is more accurate, faster and more secure than Touch ID (although your device is only as secure as the password it can. replace Face ID or Touch ID).
Some Macs can already be unlocked with a fingerprint using Touch ID, a technology Apple introduced in 2013 with the iPhone 5s. Touch ID has been available on the MacBook Pro since 2016 and on the MacBook Air since 2018.
This article was originally published in English on our sister website igamesnews UK.