AppleInsider podcast talks Touch ID rumors, RED phone and a very expensive 'iPhone 8'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 2017
This week on the AppleInsider podcast, Neil and Victor talk about the 'will-they-won't-they' push pull on whether or not the rumoured 'iPhone 8' has Touch ID on the front, back, or not at all, the RED phone announcement, and the fear of a very expensive iPhone.




AppleInsider editors Neil Hughes and Victor Marks discuss:
  • Will the "iPhone 8" have a Touch ID sensor?
  • Way-too-speculative discussion on Apple's facial recognition technology
  • What could Apple do with a $1,500+ iPhone?
  • Apple rumored to go all-OLED with 2018 iPhone models
  • Apple's chipmaking prowess, and the downfall of Imagination
  • Camera company RED announces a $1,200 phone with holographic display
  • HomePod technology, and a Samsung competitor
The show is available on iTunes and your favorite podcast apps by searching for "AppleInsider." Click here to listen, subscribe, and don't forget to rate our show.






Listen to the embedded SoundCloud feed below:



Show note links: Follow our hosts on Twitter: @thisisneil and @vmarks.

Feedback and comments are always appreciated. Please contact the AppleInsider podcast at news@appleinsider.com and follow us on Twitter @appleinsider, plus Facebook and Instagram.

Those interested in sponsoring the show can reach out to us at advertising@appleinsider.com.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    Neil, your comments on Face ID are amateurish and unimaginative.

    Let's just say, without knowing anything about the actual product, that you had this one fact to stand on: Apple is replacing Touch ID with Face ID.

    Ok. If you were given that knowledge, questions are:

    1) Do you honestly believe that Apple would do anything to inhibit the use of Apple Pay? Would Apple even bother if it wasn't at least as good and convenient as it is today, if not more so? I have hard time believing that anyone that knows Apple at all could believe that.

    2) Do you honestly believe that Apple would introduce a successor to Touch ID that was inferior to Touch ID? Touch ID is a world-class, industry leading convenience feature. Apple wouldn't bother moving on from it unless they had something better. It is so incredibly easy to throw around amateur accusations that are fueled by the history of facial recognition...but you have the entire history of fingerprint readers before Touch ID, and then Touch ID, to tell you why that is a futile endeavor.
    edited July 2017 StrangeDays
  • Reply 2 of 10
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 735editor
    Neil, your comments on Face ID are amateurish and unimaginative.
    OK.

    1) Do you honestly believe that Apple would do anything to inhibit the use of Apple Pay? 
    It's not like Apple Pay is a major source of revenue for Apple. And as I acknowledged in the episode, for many users, facial recognition may be more convenient than Touch ID. I'm not arguing that facial recognition would inhibit the use of Apple Pay overall, but I am saying it would limit its use in certain scenarios.

    2) Do you honestly believe that Apple would introduce a successor to Touch ID that was inferior to Touch ID?
    You mean like ditching MagSafe for a single USB-C port for both data and power? Or requiring a dongle to use wired headphones? Apple will make the trade-offs it deems necessary. Apple's facial recognition technology could be (and if they launch it, I assume it will be) best-in-class. And, again, for many users, facial recognition login may be more convenient than Touch ID. But it will still result in a change in how we use our phones.

    Remember the swipe to unlock gesture? We don't do that anymore because of Touch ID. Feeling the home button in your pocket and unlocking your phone as you pull it out? That might be going away too. Some people (most?) may not care. I would, though.

    Anyhow, all of this is a moot point. Until the product is announced and we can test how well it works in our own individual use cases, the speculation is meaningless. Which is why I didn't really want to get into it in the first place.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 3 of 10
    nhughes said:
    Neil, your comments on Face ID are amateurish and unimaginative.
    OK.

    1) Do you honestly believe that Apple would do anything to inhibit the use of Apple Pay? 
    It's not like Apple Pay is a major source of revenue for Apple. And as I acknowledged in the episode, for many users, facial recognition may be more convenient than Touch ID. I'm not arguing that facial recognition would inhibit the use of Apple Pay overall, but I am saying it would limit its use in certain scenarios.

    2) Do you honestly believe that Apple would introduce a successor to Touch ID that was inferior to Touch ID?
    You mean like ditching MagSafe for a single USB-C port for both data and power? Or requiring a dongle to use wired headphones? Apple will make the trade-offs it deems necessary. Apple's facial recognition technology could be (and if they launch it, I assume it will be) best-in-class. And, again, for many users, facial recognition login may be more convenient than Touch ID. But it will still result in a change in how we use our phones.

    Remember the swipe to unlock gesture? We don't do that anymore because of Touch ID. Feeling the home button in your pocket and unlocking your phone as you pull it out? That might be going away too. Some people (most?) may not care. I would, though.

    Anyhow, all of this is a moot point. Until the product is announced and we can test how well it works in our own individual use cases, the speculation is meaningless. Which is why I didn't really want to get into it in the first place.
    Apple Pay is an extremely important feature for iPhone, that Apple puts a lot of emphasis on. Apple Pay as a service is not meant to generate revenue for Apple. It is meant to sell iPhones.

    The "certain scenarios" you refer to are puzzling to me. You hold the phone out in front of you scan on an NFC reader. In no imaginable scenario is the front of the phone not pointing toward you. Even if it is at an extreme angle, it would still work. Why? Because it has to. Apple can't replace Touch ID with Face ID if it doesn't work in the most basic scenario. This much is obvious, and doesn't warrant any concern.

    I said "inferior". You must have confused that somehow with "superior". USB-C for both data and power is not a tradeoff. It is a net superior choice to MagSafe. 

    I don't understand your point about Swipe to Unlock...that was replaced by Pressing the Home Button, which just happens to have the Touch ID sensor.

    Feeling the Home Button in your pocket? I don't get that. Who gives a shit? The phone will unlock the moment you look at it. There is no material difference between that and if it being unlocked before you look at it.

    If these are the biggest concerns, I'd Face ID is already off to a great start.
    edited July 2017 StrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 10
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 735editor

    The "certain scenarios" you refer to are puzzling to me. You hold the phone out in front of you scan on an NFC reader. In no imaginable scenario is the front of the phone not pointing toward you. Even if it is at an extreme angle, it would still work. Why? Because it has to. Apple can't replace Touch ID with Face ID if it doesn't work in the most basic scenario. This much is obvious, and doesn't warrant any concern.
    I certainly hope that's the case. Which is why I said that I will reserve judgment until the product ships. But a scenario in which it would not work is pretty easy to see: Hold your phone in front of you like you are going to pay for something while the camera app is open, and see if you can see your own face in the shot. Probably not. The *rumor* is that Apple has addressed this, and the phone will see your face at extreme angles. Will it work in practice? You or I have no idea.

    If it actually *does* work that well, how will Apple address the security concerns I mentioned? How will they ensure that it doesn't just scan your face on a whim and unlock your phone or authorize a payment when you don't want it to? I assume Apple will address these problems if and when they announce a product, but they are valid questions to ask.

    I said "inferior". You must have confused that somehow with "superior". USB-C for both data and power is not a tradeoff. It is a net superior choice to MagSafe. 
    To you it may be superior, but to many users, the convenience of MagSafe and the safety in the event of someone tripping over the power cable are superior to USB-C charging. Just because you don't want/need something does not mean all people use their devices in exactly the same way.

    I don't understand your point about Swipe to Unlock...that was replaced by Pressing the Home Button, which just happens to have the Touch ID sensor.
    My point was actually in support of what you are saying. Right now, we use Touch ID and press the home button to unlock because we've been trained to do it for years. Prior to that, we pressed the home button and swiped to unlock. Perhaps this fall, we will no longer press a button to unlock. There will be an adjustment period, but if Apple turns to facial recognition technology and it works well, we will all survive. And I would guess that a large number of users will enjoy it or perhaps even prefer it over Touch ID. I suspect you will be among that group. Which is great!

    If these are the biggest concerns, I'd Face ID is already off to a great start.
    Despite your eager attempts to brand a still-unannounced feature, we have no idea how well it will work or if it will even come to fruition. I admire your cheerleading of a hypothetical product and its hypothetical capabilities, but I am skeptical about said hypothetical product and its hypothetical capabilities. Nothing is off to a "great start" because it hasn't even started yet. We'll see what happens this fall.

    Again, this is exactly why we haven't weighed in with a "hot take" on this issue in print — because it's a moot point. None of these words will mean anything until we see what Apple announces and how it works. If the "iPhone 8" ships with Touch ID and facial recognition, you and I will both be happy and the world will continue to spin as it always has.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    This is why in my original post, I said: imagine you have the knowledge that Apple is replacing Touch ID with Face ID.
    That fact brings a lot of givens along with it, which you choose to brand as skeptical hypotheticals, which is highly inappropriate. Without that knowledge, and with only the knowledge of existing facial recognition technology, we can talk about hypothetical problems that have to be solved before a solution like that makes, all day long. But that exercise is mostly pointless once we know that Apple has already done that. Probably over the course of a few years.

    This is why I called your post "amateur". When you say things like, "but what happens when you tilt your phone?" You're just stirring the pot for no reason. You know full well that Day-1 questions like that are solved long before Apple embraces something as a primary hardware feature.

    Oh, and MagSafe no longer serves a purpose once the devices themselves go below a threshold for weight. So, regardless of what you or others might lament about its once-upon-a-time usefulness...its purpose no longer exists, and its function no longer applies. 
    edited July 2017 StrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member
    Neil, your comments on Face ID are amateurish and unimaginative.

    Let's just say, without knowing anything about the actual product, that you had this one fact to stand on: Apple is replacing Touch ID with Face ID.

    Ok. If you were given that knowledge, questions are:

    1) Do you honestly believe that Apple would do anything to inhibit the use of Apple Pay? Would Apple even bother if it wasn't at least as good and convenient as it is today, if not more so? I have hard time believing that anyone that knows Apple at all could believe that.

    2) Do you honestly believe that Apple would introduce a successor to Touch ID that was inferior to Touch ID? Touch ID is a world-class, industry leading convenience feature. Apple wouldn't bother moving on from it unless they had something better. It is so incredibly easy to throw around amateur accusations that are fueled by the history of facial recognition...but you have the entire history of fingerprint readers before Touch ID, and then Touch ID, to tell you why that is a futile endeavor.
    Nailed it, man. Fingerprint scanners sucked before TouchID. 

    I cannot understand why the predictable critics of Apple seem to lose their minds and forget -- Apple knows what it's doing, by and large. Their design successes are many and failures few. They know what makes this stuff tick better than we do and *of course* have solved these very most-basic problems you present as healthy skepticism. It isn't. It's just hand-wringing.

    It's like, how many times did Craig and Cook have to say, "We love our Macs and don't want to use anything else," yet the critics still panicked and cried about Mac being dead...
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 7 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member
    nhughes said:
    2) Do you honestly believe that Apple would introduce a successor to Touch ID that was inferior to Touch ID?
    You mean like ditching MagSafe for a single USB-C port for both data and power? Or requiring a dongle to use wired headphones
    The industry moved on w/ MagSafe to USB-C, it wouldn't make any sense to keep a separate power-only port considering how much better battery life is today from when MagSafe was introduced.

    As for the headphone port -- you're quite wrong, no "dongle" is required to use wired headphones. The 7 ships with a pair of wired headphones in the box, and there are others that use its new port. If you're referring to using headphones that use the legacy 3.5mm port, there is an adapter (not a dongle) in the box as well. Please, just stop.
    edited July 2017
  • Reply 8 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,362member
    nhughes said:

    The "certain scenarios" you refer to are puzzling to me. You hold the phone out in front of you scan on an NFC reader. In no imaginable scenario is the front of the phone not pointing toward you. Even if it is at an extreme angle, it would still work. Why? Because it has to. Apple can't replace Touch ID with Face ID if it doesn't work in the most basic scenario. This much is obvious, and doesn't warrant any concern.
    I certainly hope that's the case. Which is why I said that I will reserve judgment until the product ships. But a scenario in which it would not work is pretty easy to see: Hold your phone in front of you like you are going to pay for something while the camera app is open, and see if you can see your own face in the shot. Probably not. The *rumor* is that Apple has addressed this, and the phone will see your face at extreme angles. Will it work in practice? You or I have no idea.

    If it actually *does* work that well, how will Apple address the security concerns I mentioned? How will they ensure that it doesn't just scan your face on a whim and unlock your phone or authorize a payment when you don't want it to? I assume Apple will address these problems if and when they announce a product, but they are valid questions to ask. [...]

    Despite your eager attempts to brand a still-unannounced feature, we have no idea how well it will work or if it will even come to fruition. I admire your cheerleading of a hypothetical product and its hypothetical capabilities, but I am skeptical about said hypothetical product and its hypothetical capabilities. Nothing is off to a "great start" because it hasn't even started yet. We'll see what happens this fall.
    I've bolded your very questionable "concern". As Metri has said, you show an extreme lack of imagination and recognition. First -- have you not used the Document Scanning feature in iOS11? You can scan a piece of paper on a desk at an extreme angle and it works like magic. Why would you not believe this would be the same on FaceID (if this rumor is true)? It defies reason.

    On item 2 -- why do you not expect using Apple Pay will still be user-event-driven? Is it so hard to imagine a tap on the virtual home button to confirm/complete?

    Item 3 -- that you call his perfectly reasonably criticism of your unreasonable skepticism "cheerleading" is lame. It's not cheerleading to remind the ever-skeptical that Apple knows what the hell it's doing and isn't going to release a dogshit replacement for TouchID were this rumor true. They understand the problem space better than you do. It's like no matter how many hits Apple makes at bat, some critics and skeptics just can't bear to admit Apple has an incredible batting average. Yet these skeptics were the same people said TouchID would suck, etc. Going all the way back to GUIs and even PCs -- "It will never work! It's a toy!" etc...

    I speak for myself, but I really expect a deeper understanding of how Apple operates from someone who covers them on an Apple site. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 735editor
    This is why I called your post "amateur". 
    I speak for myself, but I really expect a deeper understanding of how Apple operates from someone who covers them on an Apple site. 
    I'm happy to have the debate — I'm a big boy and can withstand the criticism — but calling me an "amateur" and saying I lack a "deeper understanding" of Apple isn't really productive discussion.

    I appreciate you guys listening and contributing to the dialogue. I stand by what I said on the episode, I think the debate is moot until the product is announced. I would rather talk about how well it works or does not work than speculate how it could work.

    That's all for my participation in this thread. Have a great weekend.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 950member
    re: facial recognition being a make/break thing... pretty much my current stand on the 3.5mm jack elimination.
    Metriacanthosaurus said:
    1) Do you honestly believe that Apple would do anything to inhibit the use of Apple Pay? Would Apple even bother if it wasn't at least as good and convenient as it is today, if not more so? I have hard time believing that anyone that knows Apple at all could believe that.

    2) Do you honestly believe that Apple would introduce a successor to Touch ID that was inferior to Touch ID? Touch ID is a world-class, industry leading convenience feature. Apple wouldn't bother moving on from it unless they had something better. It is so incredibly easy to throw around amateur accusations that are fueled by the history of facial recognition...but you have the entire history of fingerprint readers before Touch ID, and then Touch ID, to tell you why that is a futile endeavor.
    re: #1 - assuming they've thought it through that far... kinda joking, but given some of Apple's decisions, I'm never certain anymore.

    re: #2 - what about something they think is superior for their plans and advantage? (exhibit A: 3.5mm jack)

    Metriacanthosaurus said:
    Oh, and MagSafe no longer serves a purpose once the devices themselves go below a threshold for weight. So, regardless of what you or others might lament about its once-upon-a-time usefulness...its purpose no longer exists, and its function no longer applies. 
    I can't recall MagSafe ever saving one of my laptops due to cord-trippage. It was still one of my favorite features. It's just so much mechanically nicer to have a cord 'leap' into it's port. I guess it's an aesthetics thing.

    StrangeDays said:
    It's like, how many times did Craig and Cook have to say, "We love our Macs and don't want to use anything else," yet the critics still panicked and cried about Mac being dead...
    While I'll admit I was encouraged a bit by their Mac Pro announcement and the last keynote... I'm still not completely convinced on their long-term plans. They maybe just realized they were a bit too premature and enthusiastic about the Mac's demise.
    nhughes
Sign In or Register to comment.