Looks like Apple doesn’t really believe we need Face ID on our Macs

Executives went on record to address the lack of touchscreen input and Face ID biometric authentication on Apple’s recent Mac computers like the redesigned MacBook Pro.

Apple marketing image showing the redesigned, colorful 24-inch iMac computers from the side


  • The Mac and iPad chief says Apple is always “listening to its customers”
  • Apple doesn’t believe that Face ID is needed on the Mac computers
  • It doesn’t “feel a reason” to build a touchscreen Mac either

Why Apple claims you don’t need Face ID Macs

Tom Boger, Apple’s vice president of iPad and Mac product marketing, along with John Ternus, who is the company’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, sat down for an interview with Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal.

Among the topics covered, the duo addressed long-standing criticism that’s often leveled at Apple by ardent fans and fiery competitors who are dissatisfied that the company wouldn’t build a touchscreen Mac. Boger and Ternus also make an argument for why people may not really need Face ID biometric authentication on their Macs.

Here’s a passage concerning Face ID-less Macs:

When I stare at the laptop’s giant notch, I wonder why I can’t unlock the machine with my face. Mr. Boger said Touch ID is more convenient on a laptop since your hands are already on the keyboard.

I don’t really get the “more convenient” argument.

My hands have are on the keyboard right now as I’m writing this piece and I’m also starring directly at my MacBook Pro’s screen. I don’t see how Touch ID on a keyboard could be more convenient than a Face ID camera that’s always looking at you, ready to log you in as soon as you sit in front of the computer.

It almost feels as if Apple wanted to build Face ID into Macs but the technology wasn’t ready. That could indeed be the case because physics: Face ID components are thicker than the lid of any modern Mac notebook. Also, Face ID on a Mac would need to work from a greater distance than Face ID on your iPhone, or even iPad.

And here’s Ternus addressing a dig from Stern regarding no touchscreen Macs.

We make the world’s best touch computer on an iPad. It’s totally optimized for that. And the Mac is totally optimized for indirect input. We haven’t really felt a reason to change that.

Don’t take their words at face value.

Apple is known for denying it’s working on a thing whereas it’s actually working on that same thing. We saw this strategy at play with iPhone, for example, with Apple denying it had been working on a phone for years until it eventually released one.