Will Face ID support multi-user authentication? Craig Federighi responds

Face ID setup
Face ID setup (Image credit: iMore)

Yesterday, Reddit user Steve Sheridan posted a thread to /r/apple stating that he emailed Craig Federighi, Apple's Vice President of Software Engineering, regarding Apple's future plans for Face ID on the iPhone X. In the email, Sheridan praised Face ID's strengths, saying that he recently purchased the X and that he finds the controversial feature to be "very fast and accurate." He then, however, went on to inquire whether or not multi-user authentication is in Face ID's future, as he and his wife prefer to share access to one another's mobile devices.

Federighi's response was essentially a "not right now, but maybe eventually," pointing out that even Touch ID wasn't meant for more than one person to use:

Currently we're focusing Face ID on single user authentication. (Even TouchID's multi-finger support was really intended to enable a single iPhone owner to unlock the device with a finger and a thumb on both hands, not to enable multi-user authentication.) We'll certainly keep your feedback in mind as we consider our plans to evolve Face ID in the future.

Though many individuals do prefer to keep their phones private — so much so that attempting to gain access to one's significant other's device has become a pervasive running joke — focusing strictly on single-user authentication could pose a problem if Apple plans to extend Face ID to its entire family of products. Many families or couples gravitate toward sharing tablets as it's more cost-effective, so once Touch ID has been phased out, multiple users having the ability to unlock a single device using Face ID may become a necessity. However, given that some are still uncertain about the security of Face ID, it makes sense that Apple is attempting to perfect it before adding multi-user support.


Would you like to see multi-user authentication with Face ID in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Tory Foulk

Tory Foulk is a writer at Mobile Nations. She lives at the intersection of technology and sorcery and enjoys radio, bees, and houses in small towns. When she isn't working on articles, you'll likely find her listening to her favorite podcasts in a carefully curated blanket nest. You can follow her on Twitter at @tsfoulk.