Apple buckles: MacBook gets practical iPhone feature

Image source: Holger Eilhard / GIGA


For years, Mac and MacBook users have been eagerly awaiting a feature they already know from the iPhone and iPad. Now Apple finally seems to have mercy and bow to the desire, as the latest beta version of macOS 11 Big Sur shows.

If you want to unlock a Mac or MacBook, you have three methods: password, fingerprint scan via Touch ID or a paired Apple Watch. So far, however, one option was missing: Face ID, i.e. Apple’s face recognition, which the company introduced with the iPhone X in 2017. That should change now.

For Mac and MacBook: Apple brings Face ID to desktop computers

Notes on Macs with support for Face ID can be found in the latest beta version of macOS 11 Big Sur, as 9to5Mac reports. The same code names that Apple once used for Face ID’s TrueDepth camera system are said to be hidden there, including “PearlCamera.” Apple is said to be still in its infancy when implementing Face ID for the Mac. So before the first Mac or the first MacBook with facial recognition à la iPhone is presented, it will take some time.

The technology required is the so-called “Neural Engine”, which Apple has installed in its own chips since the A11 Bionic processor. As part of WWDC 2020, the manufacturer announced the switch to its own processors in the Mac. The first devices based on Apple Silicon, the name of the new processors, should appear towards the end of the year – and should already have Face ID on board by then.

The new features of macOS Big Sur:

New iMac with Intel processor expected

Despite the announced switch to its own processors, Apple says it still has Macs with Intel chips in the pipeline. This also includes the long-awaited refresh of the iMac, which in addition to new processors also draws the line under the Fusion Drive and should only be offered with SSDs. As with the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, a presentation of the all-in-one computer could take place via a press release; a separate event is not expected.

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