The need for near-universal mask-wearing when in public has reduced one of Apple’s best technologies, FaceID, from a feature into a frustration.

With no other biometric authentication technology, users have had to constantly type in their PIN to use their iPhone.

Now the Wall Street Journal has confirmed, via two ex-Apple employees,  that Apple “has been working on in-screen fingerprint technology and has considered including both Touch ID and Face ID on the same device.”

9to5Mac suggests this was in response to the mask issue, but, unless Apple was prescient, the same site will recall that Apple was already rumoured to be planning to ditch FaceID in 2019 (for the 2021 iPhone) due to the need to get rid of the notch and get back to a full-bleed screen.

Then 9to5Mac reported:

A new report from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo today says that at least one of the new iPhones introduced in 2020 will have a smaller front-facing camera cutout, making for an improved screen to body ratio and a smaller notch.

Furthermore, the report says that by 2021, three new iPhones are likely to use in-screen fingerprint as opposed to Face ID. In conjunction with this, the notch would also be removed or greatly reduced in size.

While Apple may not be responding to what we hope is a soon passing pandemic, I am sure the mask issue will give the company further impetus for following through with those plans.

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