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Cops In US Instructed Not To Look At iPhones To Avoid Wasting Face ID Attempts

By | October 14th, 2018

We heard earlier this month that the first known case of United States law enforcement gaining access to an iPhone via Face ID had taken place, and now we are also hearing that police around the country are being told to be careful when handling a suspect’s iPhone so as to avoid triggering the device’s security features and thus disabling Face ID altogether.

In its current form, Face ID will disable itself after five unsuccessful unlock attempts, reverting to requiring passphrase entry in order to unlock. Law enforcement doesn’t want this to happen, because while it is able to compel people to unlock a device via Face ID, it does not have the same powers when it comes to forcing people to enter a passphrase.

According to a report by Motherboard, a forensics company called Elcomsoft is teaching police officials how to avoid triggering Face ID, warning them “don’t look at the screen, or else the same thing will occur as happened [at] Apple’s event.”

That’s in reference to when Apple’s Craig Federighi encountered a troublesome iPhone X during its announcement event. Because that handset had been handled by multiple people before the event took place, it had disabled Face ID. Of course, Federighi didn’t know that so when he tried to demo the new headline feature, it failed because the iPhone X rightly demanded a passphrase. Police want to avoid the same outcome.

Elcomsoft’s CEO, Vladmir Katalov, explained to Motherboard.

“This is quite simple. Passcode is required after five unsuccessful attempts to match a face,” Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft, told Motherboard in an online chat, pointing to Apple’s own documentation on Face ID. “So by looking into suspect’s phone, [the] investigator immediately lose one of [the] attempts.”

If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to easily disable Face ID, whether for reasons relating to law enforcement or not, you can press and hold the side button and either volume button until the power-off screen appears. This disables Face ID until a passphrase has been entered.

(Source: Motherboard)

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New Apple Patent Describes Face ID Like Tech For Mac

By | August 24th, 2018

Face ID has proven a big hit amongst iPhone X users for the most part, and now we have confirmation that Apple is, or has at least considered bringing similar functionality to the Mac.

This comes after it was noted that Apple has recently had a patent granted that would bring Face ID, or technology like it, to the Mac.

Interestingly it appears that the patent itself was applied for before the iPhone X was launched, although its description does sound eerily similar to that of Face ID with a system described for automatically logging a Mac in when it is approached.

The patent describes how Macs in sleep mode could use their camera to look for faces. This would presumably be a feature added to Power Nap, where a sleeping Mac is still able to carry out certain background activities without using much power.

If your Mac spots a face, it then uses facial recognition to wake the Mac if the user is identified […] Essentially, the Mac can remain in sleep mode while doing the easy bit – just figuring out whether or not any face is in view – and then enter a higher powered mode to run the facial recognition part before fully waking the machine.

The actual mention of facial recognition similar to the way Face ID works is one that is not made a big deal of in this particular patent, simply stating that face detection could be employed in order to detect a user’s face.

As another example, the computer may apply a face detection algorithm at step 92 in order to detect the subject’s face of depth map.

A similar patent that was spotted earlier mentions gesture control for the Mac, something that is also referenced in this new patent including the identification of “humanoid forms….in a depth map.” The changes to those forms could then be used to initiate navigation throughout macOS, for example.

As always though, it’s worth noting that an Apple patent does not a Mac feature make. In other words, this patent doesn’t mean we will see Face ID or gestures find their way to the Mac, although we can only hope at least the first one does at some point soon.

(via: Patently Apple)

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How To Use iPhone X Face ID To Sign Into Just About Any App With A Glance

By | April 8th, 2018

Apple’s ditching of Touch ID for the iPhone X meant the arrival of Face ID, making it possible to unlock your iPhone and authenticate Apple Pay transactions with nothing more than a glance.

If you were a heavy user of Touch ID on older iPhones in an attempt to avoid having to remember multiple passwords for all of your apps, you can also use Face ID in lieu of the fingerprint sensing technology.

Theoretically, any app that included support for Touch ID should also support Face ID. Here’s what you need to do in order to use your face to sign into apps in iOS 11.

Apps That Natively Support Face ID/Touch ID

Step 1: This obviously relies on you having set up Face ID, which we’re going to assume you have. If you haven’t, do that now!

Step 2: Download and open an app that needs a password for authentication before tapping the button to sign in. Enter your username and password as required.

Step 3: Hopefully, the app will now present the option to use Face ID in future. If so, tap on the button to enable it. From here on in, you’ll be prompted to look at your iPhone in order to authenticate rather than sign in manually.

If you’re using an app and have already bypassed the option where it asks to enable Face ID, fear not. Open the settings in the app in question and there should be one to enable Face ID. If there is, flick it on and away you go. There’s a Plan B for all this: head to Settings > Face ID & Passcode before tapping on the entry for Other Apps. Flick on any app you want to be able to use Face ID with.

That’s it, you’re all set as far as supported apps are concerned!

Apps That Don’t Natively Support Face ID/Touch ID

What about those apps which doesn’t have native support for Face ID authentication? Well, fear not! Starting with iOS 11, Apple added support for using Keychain passwords for autofill in apps, just like how it has been previously available for Safari.

The way this works is simple. If you use Apple’s Keychain for storing your username and passwords, all you need to do is to tap on the username or password field in the app, then tap on the “key” icon (as shown in the screenshot below) and there you have it! It will authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID and then autofill the field with your correct username and password so that you can easily sign in!

You can manage your Keychain data manually by heading over to Settings > Accounts & Passwords section on your iPhone or iPad.

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Snapchat Launches iPhone X-Exclusive Face Filters That Use TrueDepth Camera

By | April 7th, 2018

Snapchat has launched a trio of new facial filters for app users running the software on Apple’s iPhone X flagship.

The three new filters make use of the information provided by the innovative TrueDepth camera hardware in iPhone X to place the filters more accurately and realistically on a detected face.

Snapchat is generally thought of as the pioneer of augmented reality-based facial filters by a huge percentage of average device owners. We all know that this type of technology existed prior to Snap Inc. integrating it into its app but that it really takes one big company with a huge following to bring the technology and functionality into the mainstream.

Now, as part of what would appear to be an attempt to take it to the next level and truly show what the technology is capable of, these three new filters take the iPhone X and perfectly use the depth information provided by its TrueDepth camera system.

Snapchat has included an old-school wrestling mask, a filter with a tiara, and a jeweled mask creation, which use the depth information to perfectly fit the mask to the contours of the users face, ensuring that it looks as close to being a real mask as is possible. Some of these filters were initially shown off by Apple’s Craig Federighi during iPhone X launch keynote last year. The new capability is impressive enough and will certainly appeal to iPhone X owners who will feel that they have a little something extra over other device owners. However, Snapchat is also going a slight step further by using that same camera system to apply depth effects in real-time, similar to what Apple does with the Portrait Lighting mode on iPhone X.

There has been no change in how these filters are accessed so iPhone X owners won’t have any new interaction methods or hidden gestures to learn. Using the front-facing camera and tapping and holding on the screen will bring up the filters that everyone knows and loves.

The first three that appear will be the brand new iPhone X filters, but remember, if you use the filter, then you are obliged to ensure that you share the creation with everyone in your social circles.

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iOS 11.3 Final Code Hints At New Pride Face For Apple Watch

By | March 29th, 2018

Alongside the newly released 9.7-inch iPad, Apple has also made available iOS 11.3 final version for the said device ahead of the software going out to the public for every other device.

As Apple tends to keep a feature or two back during the beta process, only adding them in that final or Golden Master release, tinkers have been looking through this 9.7-inch iPad specific final version release in order to see what’s new. As it turns out, there might be something new, but it’s not likely to be something you expected.

According to developer Guilherme Rambo, writing for 9to5Mac, there are new references to an equally new watch face, potentially set to arrive as part of watchOS 4.3. The new pride face will apparently be made up of “ribbons of pride undulate independently in surprising patterns as they approach consolidation.”

The strings were apparently spotted inside what Rambo describes as an accessibility bundle, a component that is used to provide audio descriptions of features within iOS for those who are visually impaired. The suspicion is that this bundle will be one that is used for the Apple Watch app on iOS, the same app that is used for configuring an Apple Watch.

Apple had a history of pride related accessories, selling a pride watch band for a period of time, although it is no longer available.

The arrival of a pride watch face makes plenty of sense given Apple’s past support for pride as a whole, and we expect to learn more about this either when iOS 11.3 ships for all devices or watchOS 4.3 final arrives on the Apple Watch.

(Source: 9to5Mac)

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Samsung To Finally Have iPhone X-Like Face ID 3D Facial Recognition Tech In Time For Next Year’s Galaxy S10

By | March 16th, 2018

Apple may have been the first to really get facial recognition on a smartphone right with its Face ID system, but it would be very shortsighted to not expect every other smartphone maker on the planet to also be working on facial authentication software that works just as well.

According to Korean news outlet The Bell, Samsung is set to offer a Face ID-like feature on next year’s Galaxy S10.

The Israeli startup Mantis Vision said to be working with camera module company Namuga in an attempt to develop 3D sensing camera capabilities similar to that of Face ID.

If this rumor is true, then the two companies may be able to give Samsung the camera technology required to offer something akin to the iPhone X‘s Face ID in its own smartphones.

The recently announced Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ both use Iris and 2D facial recognition in order to offer some sort of face-based authentication mechanism. However, this is known to be less accurate, less secure, and slower to function than Face ID. This is the reason why Samsung’s current facial tech doesn’t allow for things like payments or app purchases like Apple’s Face ID does, so it would very much stand to reason that Samsung would be looking at an alternative solution for next year’s flagship devices.

Copying Face ID will not be an easy task, however. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that it will take Android smartphone companies up to two and a half years to be able to compete with Face ID, and with the iPhone X less than six months old right now, the likes of Samsung may still have a wait ahead of them before they can say their own systems are as secure, or even just as slick as Apple’s Face ID.

(Source: The Investor)

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Apple Updates iOS Security Guide With Face ID, Apple Pay Cash And Other Details

By | January 13th, 2018

Apple has today made available a new and updated iOS Security Guide, dated January 2018, in which a whole 78 pages are devoted to outline the security features in use across the iPhone and iPad.

This revised edition includes new details on Apple Pay Cash and Face ID among other features that were introduced via recent hardware and software releases from the company.

Apple tends to revise the Security Guide when it launches either a new piece of hardware or an updated version of software that brings with it changes to the way security is handled. The launch of the iPhone X, with Face ID introduced as part of that release, is a prime example of that as is the addition of Apple Pay Cash. Today’s update is the first since the iPhone X and iOS 11 were released, meaning this is the first time either new feature has been included.

As you might imagine, Face ID features prominently, with Apple outlining much of what we already knew, including the fact that Face ID, much like Touch ID, is not intended to act as a replacement for a strong passcode but rather to act as a way to augment the use of longer, more secure passcodes across devices.

“This makes using a longer, more complex passcode far more practical because you don’t need to enter it as frequently. Touch ID and Face ID don’t replace your passcode, but provide easy access to your device within thoughtful boundaries and time constraints.

This is important because a strong passcode forms the foundation of your iOS device’s cryptographic protection.”

Specific to Face ID, Apple also went into detail about whether it is possible a random person will be able to unlock a Face ID-enabled device using their own face – something that is possible, if highly unlikely.

“The probability that a random person in the population could look at your iPhone X and unlock it using Face ID is approximately 1 in 1,000,000 (versus 1 in 50,000 for Touch ID). For additional protection, both Touch ID and Face ID allow only five unsuccessful match attempts before a passcode is required to obtain access to your device.

With Face ID, the probability of a false match is different for twins and siblings that look like you as well as among children under the age of 13, because their distinct facial features may not have fully developed.”

With regard to Apple Pay Cash, Apple also outlined the fact that Apple Payments Inc. will store and use transaction data for security purposes, such as to detect fraud. It’s worth checking out the full iOS Security Guide when you have some down time, although at 78 pages long, we doubt too many people will be reading every word any time soon.

(source: Apple)

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Face ID On iPhone X Cannot Be Used To Approve Family Purchases

By | December 25th, 2017

Many people have attempted to describe Apple’s Face ID technology as a more secure and easier-to-use replacement for Touch ID, and in most circumstances, that is the case. However, some people have been taking to Apple’s forums to let the world know that it seems face ID on iPhone X can’t be used to confirm and authenticate family purchases on other devices.

It wasn’t that long ago that Apple introduced the Ask to Buy functionality in order to give control to parents over their children’s spending habits. The feature allows a child or another individual under adult restrictions, to request permission to make specific purchases through Apple’s ecosystem.

This was put in place to prevent kids from racking up huge bills when downloading apps or making in-app purchases. The idea being that a request would be made, the adult’s device would receive the request and then that individual would approve or deny the purchase.

On Apple’s previous devices, this authentication was possible using Touch ID but that doesn’t seem to be the case where iPhone X and Face ID is concerned. Rather than being able to use Face ID to quickly approve the request, Ars Technica is pointing out that the administrating parent or guardian now has to fully enter the Apple ID and password in order to approve the request. This isn’t exactly the biggest hardship in the world but it does seem a little strange that Apple allows Touch ID to be used but excludes Face ID for one reason or another.

It doesn’t look as though Apple has made any official statement on the subject as yet, which means that we don’t know if this is an oversight that will be rectified, or if Apple is concerned about the security of Face ID in this respect and therefore won’t be making it possible to improve these type of requests using facial detection.

The official support page on the subject does suggest that the feature can be used to verify a user is genuine but doesn’t make any reference to Face ID. It’s not the biggest problem in the world but it does seem a little strange given the importance Apple is placing on Face ID and its power.

(Source: Ars Technica)

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“They All Stink” Says Apple’s Phil Schiller About Android’s Face ID Competitors

By | December 10th, 2017

Apple’s head of marketing Phil Schiller is still on the public relations trail, this time speaking with Dutch website

During the interview, attention obviously turned to the iPhone X, with its brand new Face ID security feature also receiving some attention. As you might expect, Schiller was keen to make sure everyone is well aware of how impressive Face ID is and, importantly, that the competition cannot come close to it.

According to Schiller, Apple’s aim is to make security something we are all keen to do, which can only be a good thing in our eyes. However, when speaking about the competing facial recognition technologies used by Android smartphone makers, Schiller took the opportunity to stick the knife in, twist it, and then do it all over again. According to the man himself, “they all stink.”

They don’t work in all the ways we need Face ID to work. We’re very aware that through the years the simple thing, this Home button, that started as the way you click to get to the Home screen, grew into doing so many things for us. We added Touch ID, it took you to the multitasking screen, paged Siri, activated Apple Pay. All through this one mechanical button.

So for Face ID we needed the best way we know of to enable us to easily unlock our device with our face, in a protected way with the Secure Enclave, and support all these other things. We had to solve all of that. Other things that people have tried with face haven’t been anything like that. Face ID is a very unique implementation.

Schiller also took the chance to remind everyone that no developers have access to Face ID facial recognition data, just as they did not have access to fingerprints with Touch ID authentication. Developers do, of course, have access to facial mapping data for use with augmented reality applications, but Schiller pointed out that this is “different than Face ID.”


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New Emoji Coming To iOS 12 In 2018: Reversible Emoji, Redheads, Party Face, Much More

By | December 6th, 2017

We all love emoji. Well, except that awful movie, of course. That’s why when the Unicode Consortium starts talking about adding new and updated emoji to the collection, we take notice.

That’s exactly what has happened recently, with the consortium outlining what we can expect to arrive in 2018.

Just as the folks over at Emojipedia have pointed out, the Unicode Consortium has released a list of what could be about to make its debut as part of the 2018 roster. This is a beta list, so is subject to change, but the first thing we notice is the arrival, finally, of redheads to the party. Oh, and speaking of parties, there’s a new Party Face, too.

There are of course plenty of inanimate objects in the list, including a pirate flag, a broom and some, err, bricks. The full list can be found over on the consortium’s website, but the ones of interest for those with red hair or no hair at all are:

  • Man, Red Haired
  • Man, Curly Haired
  • Man, Bald
  • Woman, Red Haired
  • Woman, Curly Haired
  • Woman, Bald

Most interesting to some will be the fact that there may soon be reversible emoji for us to use, allowing for things like people to be turned around to face another emoji in order to create an amusing collection of, well, emoji. You get the idea.

Emoji with glyphs that face to the right or left may face either direction, according to vendor preference. However, that can cause a definite change in meaning when exchanging text across platforms. The following ZWJ mechanism can be used to pick an explicit direction.

Or reversible emoji could be used for compatibility reasons, we suppose, if you’re going to be all boring about it.

Expect all these new emoji characters to show up on iPhones and iPads in iOS 12 come fall 2018.

(Via: Emojipedia)

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