Lance Ulanoff of Mashable spent time with Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, Alan Dye, and Dan Riccio to talk about the development of the iPhone X. They mostly reiterated the talking points of past statements and events, but there are some new things as well. For instance, they revealed that they had originally intended this iPhone to debut in 2018, but fast-tracked it for release this year, and that required some tough decisions to be made in a tight timeframe:
When Apple made the choice to drop the home button and Touch ID fingerprint scanning in favor of Face ID, Riccio said they went “all in” with that functional decision. “We spent no time looking at [putting] fingerprints on the back or through the glass or on the side,” he said. Apple did it because they believed in the quality of Face ID security and screen unlocking, with executives describing it as good as second-generation Touch ID, but also because there simply wasn’t time.
Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch was told the same thing, and it seems to put to rest the sketchy photos published prior to the iPhone X’s debut indicating that a rear-mounted fingerprint reader was being tested. I’m very excited to give Face ID a shot on my own iPhone, especially after reading Nicole Nguyen’s review at Buzzfeed.
Unlike the home button, this gesture bar serves one purpose: swiping up to open the iPhone X. However, even after people learn the new gesture, you can’t switch off the bar, confirmed Federighi.
I was curious about whether there would be a toggle for that, perhaps buried deep in Accessibility settings. Even though it can’t be, I’m excited to see where Apple can take the iPhone’s on-screen interface once users get the feel of a home button-free device.