Disappointed that Touch ID won’t be in the iPhone 13? Don’t be: Apple is currently testing a version of Face ID that works when you’re wearing a mask and isn’t fazed if your glasses are all foggy. That’s according to leaker Jon Prosser, who tweeted (opens in new tab) an image of how it might look. That’s “might” rather than “will” because the image is a render; Prosser doesn’t want to make the actual image public, presumably because it could identify where he got it from.
If Prosser’s information is correct, the new camera setup is quite different from the one on the front of the iPhone 12. Where the iPhone 12 has its selfie camera towards the right of the assembly, the new version puts it on the far left with the front-facing sensors on the right.
Apparently Apple employees are currently testing the prototype while wearing a variety of disguises, which I’m choosing to interpret as Groucho Marx moustache-and-specs kits because who's going to stop me.
I hope the leak is correct: like many people, I’m frustrated by Face ID’s inability to cope with masks so if Touch ID’s return isn’t imminent, a mask-friendly Face ID would be great to see in the iPhone 13.
What's coming in the iPhone 13 cameras?
We won’t know for sure until the iPhone 13 is actually launched in September – Apple tests lots of things and not all of them make it into production iPhones immediately, or sometimes ever – but it’s highly likely that the iPhone 13’s computational photography features will be improved via its machine learning system. Rumours also indicate better video quality.
We’re not expecting massive hardware changes this time around, because this is the tock of Apple’s tick/tock iPhone release schedule, but given the huge advances in iPhone photography in recent models we’d expect it to be a significantly better shooter than the iPhone 12.