Updated: Face ID Demo Fail

David Pogue has received new information from Apple regarding the demo. Apparently, before the keynote began, the iPhone X was being set up for the demo by several apple employees. While being set up, the iPhone X repeatedly scanned these employees’ faces and tried to authenticate via Face ID. Then, “After failing a number of times, because they weren’t Craig, the iPhone did what it was designed to do, which was to require his passcode.” Mystery solved.

Original Story:
Yesterday Apple revealed the new iPhone X. The high end (read: expensive) new flagship ditches the home button in favor of an all screen device. The removal of the home button also means the removal of Touch ID. In its place, Apple introduced Face ID. The new system uses advanced cameras to authenticate a user’s identity. Face ID will be used both to unlock iPhone and for Apple Pay, so it is incredibly important that Face ID works well.

Unfortunately, the first demonstration of Face ID was anything but magical. Instead of working seamlessly, Face ID failed, which required the use of a backup iPhone X. The failure fueled speculation that Face ID is unreliable and a poor substitute for Touch ID.

I suggest reserving judgment until the final device ships. For one, iPhone X does not ship until November. In the interim, Apple has time to put the final touches on the Face ID software. Number two, many of the demos provided after the keynote worked perfectly. There is even speculation that the on-stage failure occurred because the first iPhone X demo unit had not first been unlocked via passcode after being turned on. Even Touch ID requires the passcode be entered when the device is first turned on before allowing a finger print unlock. Lastly, Touch ID isn’t perfect either. Just this morning my iPhone 7 failed to unlock with my finger print, requiring two more attempts before Touch ID worked successfully. No solution is perfect, so let’s wait until the final device ships before comparing Face ID with Touch ID.

Today at Apple

Today, Apple unveiled its new initiative that aims to bring dozens of educational opportunities to all Apple retail locations. Called “Today at Apple,” the sessions cover both basic and advanced topics. From photography to videography, and kids programs, Today at Apple has material for all people.

Interestingly, there will also be courses teaching coding:

Coding sessions are meant to introduce anyone to coding through Swift Playgrounds, an iPad app designed to make coding interactive and fun for beginners. These sessions will explore coding concepts with the same code professional developers use every day.

I think the coding courses provide a great way to expose children, and adults alike, to programming. By removing the stigma that a person is not technologically wired or able to code, Apple can promote a new mindset where coding is accessible to anyone.

2016 MacBook Pro — Quick Thoughts

I previously suggested that you not purchase a 2016 MacBook Pro. My video suggestion was based on one simple factor: price. Apple has a history of launching revamped product lines, raising the price, and then subsequently dropping the entry price within a year or two. I expect Apple will do this with the newly re-designed MacBook Pro, and that is why I suggested holding off on the new MBP for the time being. However, I had to donate my 2013 MacBook Air recently and find myself typing away on a 2016 13″ MacBook Pro. More information will come, but I want to leave three initial thoughts on the new device.

1. This device is thin and light. I remember the MacBook Air product launch and how thin and light that laptop seemed. Recall Steve Jobs presenting on stage with a MBA in a small envelope. Compared to the MBA, the new MBP has a smaller footprint while retaining the same weight. Plus, it has a Retina display and more powerful internal components. Impressed.

2. I really like the idea of being able to charge my laptop from any port. It’s easy, simple, and convenient. I don’t mind having only USB-C ports and having to buy a dongle to use legacy peripherals, especially because I hardly use any peripherals anyway. With that said, the fact that the base MBP only has 2 USB-C ports, compared to 4 ports in the more expensive models, really grinds my gears.

3. Space gray looks great on a laptop, it’s sleek, modern, and professional. The silver Apple laptop color is iconic, but I really like having the option to buy something new and different. This is probably why people love iPhone redesigns, to have a device that looks fresh and unique.

10 Things to Know About Apple’s iPhone 7 Event

A few weeks ago Apple announced the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2. Both devices have interesting hardware, but may not be super compelling upgrades depending on what devices you currently use. After the buzz from the event died down, I noticed ten critical pieces of information that Apple didn’t publicize at the keynote that are pretty important to note. For instance, even though the iPhone 7 is water resistant, any water damage that breaks the device is not covered under the standard warranty. For this and nine more important updates, check out the video above.

Jony Ive Interview

A new interview with Jony Ive hit the web this week. Although Charlie Rose interjects too often, the video is incredibly fascinating. Ranging from the his relationship with Steve Jobs (always an interesting topic to explore) to taking pride in design decisions, the interview peals back a layer on a critical Apple executive. If you are interested in design, art, or technology, this is definitely worth a watch.