February 1, 2018

New iOS 11.3 Will Finally Let iPhone X Users Approve Family Purchases With Face ID

Over the last week, iPhone X users, especially parents or other family organizers using the “Ask to Buy” feature on their mobile device has been a little irritated with the inability to approve Family Purchase requests using Face ID. For every app or media purchase request they get, iPhone X owners are being forced to enter their Apple ID password — a tedious and frustrating process.


While on devices with Touch ID (iPhone 8 and older) it has always been possible to conveniently approve App Store family purchase requests using the biometric authentication, the feature had not been implemented for Face ID. This is surprising since Apple ensured that the transition from Touch ID to Face ID in third-party apps was seamless.

Well, after receiving backlash from hundreds of frustrated iPhone X owners out there, Apple seems to have made a small change in iOS 11.3. Starting with iOS 11.3, an iPhone X owner would be able to approve family purchases through Face ID.

While testing iOS 11.3 beta, 9to5Mac found that the first time a purchase approval request is received from ‘Ask to Buy’, the parent must enter their password. After entering the password for the first time, iOS asks if the user would like to enable Face ID for future Family Sharing approvals. Clicking “Enable” then sets that up and a password is no longer required.


However, it is kind of odd on Apple’s part to not enable Face ID for family transaction authorization on the App. Apple should have provided this option right from the very beginning when it first released the iPhone X.

Apple earlier stated that Face ID on the iPhone X can be possibly fooled by similar looking close family members, like for example, it could fail to distinguish between a parent and their children’s face and end up unlocking the device. This is perhaps the reason why Apple has not enabled Face ID for authorizing App Store transaction requests.

iOS 11.3 is currently being beta tested by Apple and will be released in spring of this year.

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