iOS 16 will finally allow you to unlock your iPhone in landscape. On the iOS 16 features page, Apple says that select iPhone models will support the ability to unlock Face ID in landscape.
Since Face ID launched on iPhone with iPhone X back in 2017, it has always required you to hold the iPhone upright in portrait orientation.
This is extremely annoying in certain situations, such as when you are lying down in bed. The iPad implementation of Face ID has supported landscape unlock since the beginning; the iPhone has always been a strange outlier here.
Unfortunately, Apple suggests that the addition of landscape Face ID to iPhone in iOS 16 will not be compatible with all iPhone models that can run iOS 16 (iOS 16 itself supports iPhone 8 and up). At this time, a list of supported iPhone models is not available.
Device-specific Face ID features are not unusual. For instance, the recent addition of Unlock with Face Mask requires iPhone 12 or iPhone 13. We’ll have to wait for the beta seeds to come out to find exactly which iPhones will be able to do landscape unlock.
Update: Based on beta 1, landscape Face ID is limited to iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models.
Author: Benjamin Mayo