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How To Set Up and Use Face ID for the App Store – A Complete Walkthrough

Face ID has completely changed the game when it comes to unlocking your iPhone and authorizing app downloads. With just a quick glance, you can securely access your apps and make purchases. No more typing in long, complex passwords!

But you have to set up Face ID before enjoying those conveniences. In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll show you step-by-step how to configure Face ID and use it in the App Store. You‘ll also learn some cool history and interesting stats around this revolutionary feature.

Let‘s dive in!

A Brief History of Apple‘s Face ID Technology

Face ID represents a groundbreaking advancement in facial recognition technology. But early visionaries laid the foundation many years before.

In 1964, scientists at Stanford Research Institute developed one of the very first automated facial recognition systems. It used a rudimentary version of computer vision to identify faces in photographs.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, facial recognition research continued at Universities. The studies focused on using algorithms to pick out certain facial features and landmarks.

It wasn‘t until the 90s that commercial interest picked up. Major computer companies like IBM started developing face identification software for businesses.

After 9/11, facial biometrics gained more traction for airports and law enforcement security uses. Systems could match faces against databases of photos.

All those early efforts paved the way, but it took a major innovator to bring facial recognition to consumers…

Apple unveiled Face ID in September 2017, introducing the world to easy, secure facial authentication.

The iPhone X was the first device with the TrueDepth camera system powering Face ID. This took facial recognition technology to the next level.

According to Phil Schiller, Apple‘s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Face ID was in development for over 5 years before its reveal. The team went through many iterations trying to ensure it worked quickly, smoothly, and securely.

TrueDepth uses a dot projector, infrared camera, and flood illuminator to map the unique contours of your face. This enables Face ID to function accurately in all lighting conditions – even total darkness.

Apple continues innovating with each new iPhone lineup. The latest models feature faster Face ID performance, wider field of view, and new capabilities like Attention Aware Features.

Now let‘s look at some fun statistics around the impact Face ID has made since its debut.

Face ID Adoption Stats and Facts

  • Over 90% of iPhone X users immediately adopted Face ID as their primary unlock method. They rated it highly for convenience and ease of use.
  • Face ID unlocks 30% faster than the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, taking about 600-650 ms versus 850-900 ms.
  • The average iPhone user unlocks their device 80 times per day. That means they use Face ID to unlock up to 9,600 times per month!
  • As of May 2022, Apple Pay transactions using Face ID have surpassed 1 trillion (with 12 zeros).
  • 99.999% of users who set up Face ID on iPhone continue using it regularly. Less than 0.001% revert back to a passcode.
  • Third party apps integrating Face ID have risen 900% since its launch, allowing fast logins.

Face ID Growth Chart

These impressive numbers show that Face ID has been quickly adopted by millions of users. The speed, ease of use, and security has led to skyrocketing engagement.

Next let‘s break down exactly how Face ID works before getting into the setup steps.

How Face ID‘s TrueDepth Camera Works

When Apple was designing Face ID, they knew that facial recognition alone wasn‘t sufficient. Previous face scanning techniques were too easily fooled.

TrueDepth represents a revolutionary camera system because it uses 3D facial mapping. This creates a depth model that is extremely accurate and hard to trick.

Here are the key components that make up the TrueDepth camera:

  • Dot projector – Over 30,000 invisible infrared dots are projected onto your face. This creates a 3D map of your facial contours.

  • Infrared camera – This special camera reads the pattern of projected dots and captures an infrared image.

  • Flood illuminator – Infrared light is used to recognize your face in dark settings.

  • Proximity sensor – Checks if a face is close enough to the screen before scanning.

  • Ambient light sensor – Adjusts the brightness of the dots based on the environment.

  • Processor – The built-in Bionic chip computes depth data using neural networks and machine learning algorithms.

All of these parts come together to create the distinctive 3D model of your face. This is why Face ID is so much more robust than standard 2D facial recognition.

Now let‘s walk through setting up Face ID from scratch…

Step 1: Open Settings and Tap Face ID & Passcode

The first step to enabling Face ID for the App Store is opening your Settings. Use the Settings icon on your home screen.

Settings Icon

Tap the Settings icon to get started.

In Settings, scroll down a bit until you see Face ID & Passcode.

Face ID & Passcode

Tap Face ID & Passcode to begin setup.

Tapping this will prompt you to input your device passcode before proceeding.

Step 2: Input Your Device‘s Passcode

To access the Face ID settings, you first need to confirm your passcode. This is an important security measure.

Enter the 4 or 6 digit numerical passcode for your iPhone or iPad.

Enter Passcode

Type your passcode to proceed to Face ID.

If you don‘t already have a passcode enabled, you‘ll be walked through creating one.

Without a passcode, your iPhone won‘t allow you to enable Face ID. It‘s needed to protect your security and privacy.

Step 3: Position Your Face in the Camera Frame

Once your passcode is entered, the TrueDepth camera viewfinder appears. Center your face in the circular frame.

Face in Frame

Center your face in the viewfinder to begin Face ID setup.

Position your face about 10-20 inches away from your device for ideal scanning results.

Try to frame your entire face in the circle with a neutral expression. Keep your eyes open normally.

Step 4: Move Your Head to Complete Face Scan

With your face centered, you‘ll be prompted to move your head slowly in a circle. This allows the TrueDepth camera to gather views from all angles.

Move Head

Slowly rotate your head so the camera captures 3D data.

As you slowly pan and tilt your head, the circular dots will remain over your eyes and face. Just follow the on-screen guidance.

The TrueDepth camera is capturing over 50 high resolution images from different angles. Software converts these 2D images into a detailed 3D model.

Step 5: Face ID is Now Set Up!

Once your head is turned all the way around, Face ID setup completes. You‘ll feel a quick vibration and hear a sound effect.

Face ID Complete

The checkmark and confetti means you successfully set up Face ID!

That‘s it – you‘re all done! You can now start using Face ID to unlock your iPhone and make App Store purchases.

The initial scan takes about 15-30 seconds. After that, Face ID matches your face in milliseconds. It happens so fast you won‘t even realize it‘s working!

Now I‘ll explain how downloading apps works with Face ID enabled…

Using Face ID to Download Apps

Purchasing and downloading apps via Face ID only takes seconds. Just follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Find the App You Want

Browse or search the App Store until you locate the app you want to download. Free apps will have a Get button, while paid apps show the price.

Get App

Tap Get on the app you wish to download.

Tapping Get initiates the Face ID process.

Step 2: Double Click Side Button

After tapping Get, double click the Side Button on the right side of your iPhone.

Double Click Side Button

Double click the Side Button to trigger Face ID.

This activates the Face ID facial scan.

Step 3: Look at Your Phone

With the Side Button double clicked, Face ID will turn on. Simply look directly at your phone‘s screen.

Look at Phone

Make sure you‘re looking right at the screen for Face ID to work.

Position yourself 10-20 inches away in a well-lit area. Avoid sunglasses or hats that might obstruct it.

Once verified, your app will begin downloading right away! No password typing needed.

That‘s all there is to it! Just find the app, double click the Side Button, and look at your phone.

Over 90% of users agree that Face ID makes App Store purchases faster and way more convenient.

Now let‘s go over some tips in case you have trouble getting Face ID to work properly…

Troubleshooting Face ID Problems

Face ID is generally very accurate thanks to the sophisticated 3D mapping technology. But issues can arise on occasion, especially if Face ID hasn‘t scanned your face in a few days.

Here are some troubleshooting suggestions:

  • Restart your iPhone – A quick restart can clear up glitches. Just hold the Side and Volume Up buttons to power down, wait 30 seconds, then turn back on.

  • Clean camera lens – Check that the TrueDepth camera lens is clean. Gently wipe it with a soft cloth if needed.

  • Remove obstructions – Don‘t wear hats, glasses, masks, etc. that could hide part of your face. Tie back long hair as well.

  • Check distances – Hold your iPhone 10-20 inches away from your face, and look straight at it.

  • Reset Face ID – Go back into Settings and choose Reset Face ID. Then re-enroll your face from scratch.

  • Update iOS – Install the latest iOS version, as Apple is continuously improving Face ID.

  • Contact Apple Support – For stubborn issues, Apple‘s support technicians can help diagnose and rectify Face ID problems.

Following this advice will resolve most common Face ID troubles. Overall it is very reliable with only occasional glitches.

Now I want to go over some key differences between Face ID and the previous Touch ID fingerprint scanning…

Face ID vs. Touch ID: How Do They Compare?

Before Face ID, the iPhone used Touch ID fingerprint scanning for biometric authentication. Here‘s how the two stack up:

  • Security – Face ID has a 1 in 1 million error chance versus just 1 in 50,000 for fingerprints.

  • Speed – Both are extremely fast, but Face ID unlocks about 30% quicker than Touch ID.

  • Convenience – No need to precisely place your finger. Face ID works at wider angles.

  • Reliability – Face ID works through more conditions like wet fingers, gloves, etc. that disrupt Touch ID

  • Masks – Originally Face ID didn‘t accommodate masks, but Apple released an update enabling it to work with masks on.

  • Accessibility – Face ID is easier for those with conditions like eczema that make fingerprints harder to read.

While both technologies are impressive, Face ID edges out Touch ID in most areas. But some users still prefer the tactile feeling of a Home button over gestures.

As you can see, setting up and using Face ID for the App Store is quick, easy and secure. But Apple isn‘t done innovating yet…

The Future of Face ID

We can expect Apple to keep enhancing Face ID capabilities with each new iPhone lineup. Here are some exciting developments on the horizon:

  • Even greater security – New neural network training techniques will make Face ID harder to trick. The 1 in 1 million error chance will get closer to 1 in 1 billion!

  • Improved performance – Speed and accuracy of facial recognition will keep improving. Eventual goal is virtually instantaneous verification.

  • Attention tracking – Face ID may soon verify user attention and eye contact before authenticating. This could prevent unauthorized access if you‘re not looking.

  • Bezel-less design – The TrueDepth hardware will shrink allowing larger displays that extend across the whole front surface.

  • Expanded ecosystem – More apps and websites will leverage Face ID for fast, passwordless logins. Car platforms like CarPlay could adopt it too.

  • New human interactions – Face ID may power other new features like emotion tracking, facial gestures, animoji, etc.

The technology that enables Face ID has huge potential beyond just identification. We‘re likely just scratching the surface of what Apple‘s TrueDepth camera system makes possible. Exciting times ahead!

In Summary…

That concludes our complete guide to using Face ID for the App Store! Here are some key points:

  • Face ID provides super fast, secure access to download apps with just a quick glance.

  • Setting up Face ID is easy and takes less than a minute. Just position your face in different angles.

  • Enable Face ID for the App Store under Face ID & Passcode settings by toggling on iTunes & App Store.

  • Troubleshoot issues by cleaning the lens, removing obstructions, resetting Face ID, and contacting Apple Support if needed.

  • Face ID is more advanced than Touch ID with improved security, speed and accessibility.

We hope you found this article helpful! Let us know if you have any other questions. Enjoy buying apps with just a smile at your iPhone!

Featured Image Photo by Aleksey Khilko on Unsplash