Apple is the only company to truly harness a secure face unlock feature on mobile devices, but when it comes to laptop and desktop computers, Windows Hello is king. So what’s the holdup? When will Face ID finally come to the Mac? According to experts, we may need to wait until 2023.
We first heard rumors of Face ID on the Mac back in 2020, when data miners found references to the protocol in a Big Sur beta. Adding Face ID to the first Apple Silicon machines would make sense—it would help differentiate the M1 MacBooks, Mac Mini, and iMac from their Intel predecessors and give existing Mac users just one more reason to upgrade. Experts like Mark Gurman predicted Face ID support in a 2021 Mac release, but things haven’t worked out that way.
If Apple really planned on Face ID for the 2021 iMac, it may be delaying the feature because of supply and work constraints (which could grow worse due to the COVID-19 Delta variant). After all, Apple can’t just stick the iPhone’s Face ID sensor in the Mac—the parts are too thick. Engineering a slimmer Face ID sensor may not be a priority right now.
A new Bloomberg report from Mark Gurman predicts Face ID will come to the Mac in 2023. The feature will likely arrive on Apple’s non-Pro iPads before it reaches any computers. Keep in mind that this is just a prediction, and that Apple could surprise us with the 2021 MacBook Pro release (assuming that such a release even happens).
It’s worth mentioning that some Mac users don’t give a hoot about Face ID. MacBooks now feature Touch ID sensors, and Apple packages a Touch ID-equipped Magic Keyboard with its new 24-inch iMac. But don’t you feel a bit envious when you see how good Windows Hello works?