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iOS 12 code confirms iPad with Face ID

Animoji iOS 12 iPad

Apple’s 2018 iPhones are all getting a taste of Face ID and it looks like the iPad could be next. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith discovered a clue hinting at this possibility while digging through the latest iOS 12 beta.

As per Troughton-Smith’s tweet, Apple’s AvatarKit software has come to the iPad. The framework is in charge of Animoji and Memoji and it looks like the feature’s code has been altered in iOS 12 to work with an iPad-sized screen. The screenshot above is proof of this.

iPad with Face ID

However, AvatarKit doesn’t actually work on any current iPad since it requires a TrueDepth camera module to track faces. Apple is probably laying the tracks for a Face ID-supporting iPad for the future. It’s not clear if these tablets will also adopt an iPhone X-like notch design.

It’s certainly a possibility since the iOS 12 beta builds also introduce iPhone X-esque gestures for the iPad. Users will be able to swipe up from the gesture bar to reach the lock screen and swipe up again to go to the home screen. This sounds like something which would be necessary if there was no home button around.

One aspect which many are speculating about is the direction an iPad user will have to be facing to unlock the device. The iPhone X’s Face ID only kicks in when the handset is upright. People can’t unlock the smartphone on its side or upside-down.

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This could be an issue for the iPad since many folks use it horizontally, such as when typing on an external keyboard. Asking them to constantly rotate the tablet would be a huge inconvenience. Apple will hopefully address this issue by allowing the iPhone and iPad to unlock in any orientation.

While iOS 12 is scheduled to release in September, there’s no guarantee Apple will announce a new iPad at its annual event. It might have its hands full with 3 new iPhones and the Apple Watch 4.