11
Aug
2017

Looks like there’ll be a way to disable iPhone 8’s face detection & attention

iPhone 8’s 3D sensor is said to recognize faces in dark-lit environments and even from odd angles, such as when the phone is resting on a desk, as well as permit you to unlock the device by glancing over at it and silence notification sounds just by looking at the screen.

But what if you didn’t want to use the rumored face detection and attention features?

According to some code strings uncovered from iOS 11, both features could be user-selectable meaning there should be a toggle in Settings to disable both at once, or separately.

for those concerned about iOS 11’s face/attention detection, looks like there will be a way to disable it. @_insidepic.twitter.com/TUGwPTihHJ

— Dan (@r_idn) August 9, 2017

iOS developer Daniel Niyazov tweeted about this earlier in the week after discovering some notable strings in iOS 11 code that suggest this possibility. “For those concerned about iOS 11’s face and attention detection, looks like there will be a way to disable it,” reads the tweet.

There’s actually a Private AttentionAwareness framework, as well as a AttentionAwarenessLibrary framework (likely also private) pic.twitter.com/awtPC7Ib1W

— Dan (@r_idn) August 9, 2017

This doesn’t come as a surprise.

With iPhone 8 said to include advanced biometrics potentially replacing Touch ID, there’s almost certainly going to be a toggle in Settings to disable the new facial recognition feature just as users are given the option to turn Touch ID on or off at will.

Also worth noting, Daniel said in another tweet that iOS 11 includes a private framework named “AttentionAwareness”, which could suggest that, at least initially, third-party developers won’t be able to detect when a user is starring at the screen.

Of course, Touch ID originally launched in a limited fashion before Apple extended its functionality to third-party developers so the company could eventually make the “AttentionAwareness” framework and library public, probably in iOS 12.

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