307: Does iPhone’s Understanding of the World Work?

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iPhone X uses Face ID to unlock your device and provide new AR capabilities. We talk about the pros and cons of Face ID and the coolest new AR apps. Will it work as described? Is this really the future? See below for additional articles and detailed description of iPhone’s security.

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iPhone Show Notes

General News
5 Announcements From Apple’s iPhone 8 Event That Actually Matter by Jacob Kleinman, LifeHacker
The iPhone X Out Benchmarks the Macbook Pro by Daniel Eran Dilger, Apple Insider
Photos: What it was like to attend Apple’s iPhone X event — its first at the Steve Jobs Theater by Dan Frommer, Recode
The Psychology Behind the New iPhone’s Four-Digit Price by Rafi Mohammed, HBR
Dive into the details of iOS 11: Is Apple still detail-oriented? by Ryan Lau, HackerNoon


The Best AR Apps So Far
9 Cool, Paid For, AR Apps by Dami Lee, The Verge
Six Free AR Apps by Fitz Tepper, TechCrunch
10 More Cool Apps! by Jonny Evans, Computerworld


About Face ID
Apple’s Craig Federighi answers some burning questions about Face ID by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch
Face ID, Touch ID, No ID, PINs and Pragmatic Security by Troy Hunt, TroyHunt.com

  • Average person does 80 unlocks per day.
  • 50% used a passcode before Touch ID. Now 90% have a passcode.
  • Nothing – no passcode or PIN.
    • Don’t be this person. Gives free access to everyone.
    • The rest are differently secure, not better or worse. Your situation should determine which you choose. What does your threat profile look like?
  • PIN (Personal Identification Number)
    • Pro: If you can remember a #, you can use a PIN.
    • Con: anyone who has your PIN can use your phone.
      • Risk 1: reusing PINs.
      • Risk 2: sharing their PIN.
      • Risk 3: shoulder surfing (only numbers & in public places increases this chance).
    • Pro: Police can’t physically force you to open your phone.
  • TouchID
    • Pro: small friction to opening phone is low.
    • Pro: can be used in plain sight.
    • Con: not easy, but fingerprint could be lifted and replicated.
    • Con: an “attacker” could open your phone while unconscious.
    • Pro: Can disable by holding down the power button until the shut-off screen appears.
  • FaceID (Infrared camera + flood illuminator + proximity sensor + ambient light sensor + camera + dot projector)
    • The IR image and the dot pattern get “pushed through neural networks to create a mathematical model of your face” which is then compared to the stored one created at setup.
      • No visible light is actually seen.
      • You can wear sunglasses as long as they don’t black IR.
      • Apparently it’s fast.
      • Developers won’t have raw access, just the dot & color map.
    • Pro: All the data stays on your device. They trained it using data from willing participants. BILLIONS of images from all over the world.
    • Apple compared to random unlocks, the right compare is to an attacker… not enough info yet to really assess. Again, think about your personal threat profile.
    • Pro: resilient to photos and masks.
    • Pro: still works in the dark.
    • Pro: Can’t be opened if you’re unconscious.
    • There’s a possibility for identify computing in the future (like a profile on a computer).
  • Multi-factor (biometric + PIN)
    • Currently the PIN acts as a backup.
    • Would need to have a super long/complicated password as a backup.