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iPhone X has no home button, and will unlock with facial recognition

There’s a new way to unlock an iPhone. Onstage today, Apple’s Phil Schiller unveiled the iPhone X, with one big surprise: no home button. Because of its edge-to-edge display, the iPhone has no place for a conventional home button, relying instead on a complex facial recognition system to unlock the phone.

Called FaceID, the new system will replace TouchID, the home button sensor that’s enabled fingerprint logins since 2013’s iPhone 5S. Users can wake the phone by swiping up from the button instead of hitting the button. The same gesture will open the control panel once the phone is awake.

“Nothing has ever been simpler or more natural,” Schiller told the crowd.

The updated iPhone 8 will continue unchanged, including both the home button and TouchID.

The new FaceID system was first revealed in a firmware leak over the weekend, alongside new details on wireless charging and a status bar update in iOS 11. According to the leak, the new facial recognition system will be capable of substituting for TouchID everywhere the current system is used, both unlocking the phone and confirming purchases on iTunes, the App Store, and Apple Pay.

Experimenting with the leaked software, Brazilian developer Guilherme Rambo demonstrated how the system enrolls a person’s face, asking for a range of possible angles.

Developing. Check out our Apple event live blog for the latest updates!

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