iOS 12 Brings multi-user Face ID with support for up to two faces

One of the biggest complaints that many users had with iPhone X was the fact that it only allowed a single user to add his or her face to the device. While this is good for security and privacy, it wasn’t particularly great for users who like to give their spouse access to their devices. This is different than Touch ID that allows users to add up to 10 fingers at once, so if you want to give someone else access to your device, you can add one of their fingers to it.

With iOS 12 Apple is allowing multi-user support for Face ID, by allowing users to add an ‘Alternative Appearance‘. By going to Face ID & Passcode settings on iOS 12 powered devices users can tap on the ‘Set Up an Alternative Appearance’. This allows them to set up Face ID for a completely different person. When user taps on this button he or she can scan the face just like setting up Face ID for the first time. Once the Alternative Appearance has been added, iPhone X will get unlocked by facial scans of both user A and user B.

Hidden within the Face ID settings, there is now a toggle to Set Up an Alternative Appearance. The description reads:

“In addition to continuously learning how you look, Face ID can recognise an alternative appearance.”


Addition of this feature is indeed intriguing as it not only shows Apple has listened to user feedback but also because Apple is expected to add Face ID in other devices like iPad and perhaps the Mac. Having multi-user support and ability to recognize multiple people will make Face ID more powerful and useful for users.

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