Since Apple revealed a move to its own custom-made silicon during its WWDC conference last month, rumours have been rife about what powerful new capabilities could end up hitting the MacBook. And if a new leak is to be believed, one of the most useful features from the iPad Pro could soon be hitting the Mac.
Code spotted inside the latest beta of MacOS Big Sur (due for release this year) suggests Apple could be planning to bring Face ID to the Mac. This would allow users to unlock the machine using the camera instead of relying on Touch ID. It's already our best laptop for graphic design, but the extra convenience could make the MacBook Pro even more of a winner.
The eagle-eyed folk at 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) spotted codenames including “PearlCamera", “FaceDetect” and “BioCapture”, which the website says are are internal names Apple has used for the TrueDepth camera and Face ID since they first hit the iPhone X in 2017. 9to5Mac says the code "was clearly built for macOS", rather than being an iOS-related leftover.
If Apple is indeed working on Face ID for the MacBook, it could mean an improved camera is on its way too. The software requires a TrueDepth camera, currently only found in the iPhone X and later, as well as the iPad Pro. The MacBook range has been lagging behind in the camera stakes for a while with its mediocre 720p camera. In today's new normal of endless video calls, a better camera can only be a good thing for creatives (until then, here's where to buy a webcam).
Not every aspect of MacOS Big Sur has been a hit so far – the software's redesigned icons caused a bit of a stink last month. But for creatives who use the MacBook every day, Face ID could be great news – the combined convenience of faster unlocking and an improved camera making an already essential machine even more useful. If you're looking for a great MacBook deal direct from Apple itself, the Apple Back to School sale has just started.