Five years later, Face ID is still the worst iPhone feature

I’m afraid to unlock my iPhone. Every time I upload iPhone 13 mini To befriend my face, I’m afraid it won’t recognize me due to an unbalanced angle, sun blockage, or some other obstructing factor. Thus, I am forced to enter my PIN. It’s especially painful when I try to sign in to an account or purchase an app. In these scenarios, I don’t just have to enter a few numbers — I’m inconveniently prompted to type a password manager or the 20-character alphanumeric code into my Apple ID.

Face ID was supposed to be the future of authentication — a “seamless experience,” as Apple promised in 2017. A decade later, it was only a step backwards. When I switched to the iPhone, I knew it would give me a better and more reliable experience in many ways, but the face-only biometric authentication and their charging port would forever be the bane of my existence. I learned to live with the latter, in part thanks to wireless charging, but the former? It was a nightmare and a half. listen to me.

Why Face ID is the worst iPhone feature

Face ID, for me, fails more often than it should on a flagship smartphone. There’s an endless list of scenarios where Face ID refuses to work and throws an error: In direct sunlight, when sitting at my desk, while wearing a mask (plus glasses), sloppy corners, right after getting up—you get the idea. There are also times when I can’t stare directly at the front sensors of my phone (for example, asking Siri to text someone while I’m driving). In fact, at the launch of the iPhone X, when Face ID was introduced, Apple VP Craig Federighi was unable to open the demo phone with his face, most likely due to stage light.

Craig Federighi at the iPhone X product launch event in 2017. (Image credit: Getty)

I’ve come to terms with the fact that Apple doesn’t plan to phase out Face ID anytime soon — so I thought. In the past few months, I have worked with Google Pixel 6And the iPhone SE and the iPad Air 5All of them are – you guessed it – equipped with a good fingerprint sensor. And you know what? I miss using my numbers to unlock my iPhone more than I initially thought.