Apple’s iPhone X arrives this coming Friday, and as a result, we are starting to see early hands-ons and mini reviews begin to hit the web.
One of those, which we told you about earlier, is by Steven Levy and while there was plenty to enjoy about his thoughts on the device, one thing stood out for many – iPhone X defaults to hiding incoming notifications until an authenticated face is detected by Face ID.
As a bit of context, iOS 11 introduced a new feature that allowed the incoming notifications for text apps such as WhatsApp or Messages to be hidden on the Lock screen. A notification would appear, alerting the user that a message was received, but the preview would be hidden until authentication occurred. The setting is off by default, but with the iPhone X this setting is turned on automatically, presumably thanks to Face ID and Apple’s belief that its ability to authenticate seamlessly will make such a privacy feature less of a hinderance.
Apple’s theory appears to be a sound one. If someone picks up your iPhone X they will not be able to read your message notifications because Face ID will not authenticate them. However, if you pick your phone up to check your notifications, Face ID will authenticate you and the previews will be populated. The chances are, if Face ID works as well as advertised, you will not even see the feature work the majority of the time and that alone is a big plus for privacy.
While many users would admit that having text previews leaves them susceptible to having their messages read, few are willing to tolerate the added time and taps required to access information with privacy features turned on. Face ID may well have fixed that problem.
Apple’s iPhone X went up for pre-order last Friday, with buyers set to receive their handsets this Friday, November 3.
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