Friday Morning News

David Pogue of Yahoo clarified with Apple what really happened when Face ID failed to recognise Craig Federighi’s face on-stage during a demo on Wednesday’s event. When the undisputedly best Apple presenter went to demo the new iPhone X, the first phone he picked up and attempted to unlock with Face ID prompted for a passcode. The official reason from Apple is because the device was handled by multiple staff who weren’t C-Fed, Face ID failed multiple authentication attempts, prompting for passcode input just before Hair Force One went to the backup. A small gaffe, sure, but nothing unfamiliar to anyone who’s used Touch ID.

An email from Craig Federighi says Face ID can be temporarily disabled with a press of both side buttons on the iPhone. The built-in iOS 11 feature of pressing the sleep/wake switch five times quickly to disable Touch ID or Face ID will also work, and Federighi has also confirmed that Face ID will work if you’re wearing sunnies, as “most” sunglasses let through enough IR through to allow Face ID to recognise your face. It’ll be interesting to see how this works once we get demo units in stores.

I feel kind of bad for the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, because they’re undoubtedly going to be the lesser popular models in the shadow of the iPhone X. But they’re the ones people are going to be pre-ordering today at 5PM. The Verge went hands-on with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, putting together photos and video that say that they’re just as deserving of your attention, even if you’ve upgrading from something that’s a few years old.

Which all begs the question: if you’re in the market for a new iPhone, how do you pick between the iPhone 8 and X? In Australia, the iPhone X carries a $350 premium over the iPhone 8 Plus, and if you’re on the fence, it basically comes down to how important the screen and biometric authentication are to you. Maybe even if you take a lot of selfies, as only the iPhone X gets the new portrait lighting features on the front-facing camera.

Benchmarks of the new iPhone X and 8/8 Plus put the A11 Bionic chip on par with performance of a 13-inch MacBook Pro. What’s also surprising is that the A11 outperforms the A10X Fusion chip in the iPad Pro. That being said, we’re past the performance improvements wall, with only a 25% performance improvement from the A10 to the A11 chip. Gone are the days when we’d see chips twice as fast as their predecessors, and if you’re Intel, maybe that’s a good thing.

Apple’s iPhone lineup is getting large enough that I’ll forgive you for not noticing price drops on the other models. With five distinct families (iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6S/6S Plus, and iPhone SE) all available in a range of finishes and capacities, things are getting complicated. The good news is, the iPhone 7, 6S, and SE series devices all received healthy price drops, in case you were looking to upgrade but didn’t want the latest and greatest (or were otherwise doing so on a budget).

Remember when the Jet Black iPhone was only available in the 128GB and 256GB capacities? That’s no longer the case, with 32GB now an option for the shiny phone. Apple may have dropped the 256GB capacity and the Product(RED) version from the iPhone 7 lineup, but otherwise we’d truly be into SKU hell. The good news is, the glass backs of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X should allow for a similar shiny finish without as many micro-abrasions.

In case you missed it, iOS 11 will be launching on September 19 alongside watchOS 4 and tvOS 11. MacOS High Sierra, on the other hand, just had its Gold Master build released to developers and public beta testers, with the full public release scheduled for September 25.

As it turns out, the “revamped AirPods” from the rumours just before the event turned out to be just an optional wireless charging case. MacRumors claims the AirPods wireless charging case will launch in December for US $69, which seems strange given that AirPower won’t be launching until next year. Either AirPower is launching sooner than we thought, or Apple just wants people to be able to charge their AirPods wirelessly using the same Qi charging pads they use for their iPhone and Apple Watch.

If you were looking for something to play with this weekend, Sublime Text 3.0 was just released. I know a text editor isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of a good time, but… it’s a good text editor, Brent.

Notable Replies

  1. kyte says:

    Its the physical dimensions of the X which interest me, because they are such that the phone is only a few mm larger (albeit heavier - glass) than my 6S. I did not get the Plus because it wasnt a one hand phone, the X could be. The price though… my eyes are still watering, and I only looked at the 64GB price.

  2. How are benchmarks available for devices that aren’t available yet?

  3. Magic. And leakers.

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