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In a tweet addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday, Trump bemoaned the new "swipe" to unlock interface of Face ID, saying the older Touch ID home button was "FAR better."
Trump issued a — admittedly belated — hot take on iPhones that boast Face ID on Friday, with the commander in chief seemingly not pleased with the Apple's latest-and-greatest security technology.
"To Tim: The Button on the IPhone [sic] was FAR better than the Swipe!" Trump said in a tweet.
It is unknown what iPhone model Trump is using, or whether the phone was a recent purchase. Judging by the tone and timing of the tweet, however, it appears the president was only recently exposed to the two-year-old Face ID technology. In any case, Trump prefers Touch ID, or "the button" as he calls it, to Apple's facial recognition feature.
Introduced with iPhone X in September 2017, Face ID is a state-of-the-art facial recognition system that employs a bespoke dot projector, infrared camera and flood illuminator to collect depth map and image data of a user's face. Using this information, the onboard A-series system-on-chip creates a mathematical model of the target face and sends this data to a secure enclave for matching. When a match is detected, the device is unlocked and users are allowed to swipe up to reveal the home screen.
According to Apple, Face ID is much more secure than Touch ID. The former boasts a one-in-a-million false positive rate compared to 1 in 50,000 for the latter. Touch ID is slowly being phased out in favor of Face ID, with the facial recognition solution now available on the latest iPhones and iPads. Apple says Touch ID will continue to see implementation, but has been relegated to one iPhone — iPhone 8 — entry-level iPads and Mac.
Trump is a known iPhone user and reportedly cycles between three units on a day-to-day basis, two of which have been modified by the National Security Agency to disable certain features for security reasons. It is unclear what models the president currently relies on to communicate and send out daily tweets.
In late 2018, Trump came under fire for refusing to relinquish iPhone in favor of more secure alternatives. It appears his predilection for iOS remains unscathed.