Monday, November 29, 2021

iPhone 13 DIY screen replacements don’t break Face ID in iOS 15.2 beta

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Apple told The Verge last week that it would be rolling out a software update to iPhone 13 devices to make it easier to replace their screens without breaking Face ID, but it didn’t specify when that update might arrive. Fortunately, we may not have to wait long, as repair experts say they have successfully completed the easier screen swaps on iPhone 13 handsets running the iOS 15.2 beta.

Before the update, keeping Face ID working after swapping the screens also required moving over a microcontroller from the original phone to the new one. Doing so is a complex process, and having to do it for every iPhone 13 that needs a new screen could make things difficult for indie repair shops. (You can read all about the issue in an article from iFixit.) But on an iPhone 13 loaded with the iOS 15.2 beta, iCorrect says Face ID still worked after a screen swap and without having to bring over the microcontroller.

Although Face ID still works, the screen-swapped iPhone 13 does show an “Important Display Message” warning that the device can’t verify is the screen is a “genuine Apple part” — even though iCorrect says the screen actually is a genuine part. This isn’t entirely out of the norm for Apple, though, which shows similar warnings on some iPhones following battery replacements from unauthorized repair shops.

Apple didn’t reply when we asked if it could confirm that iOS 15.2 is the version that will allow for the easier screen replacements when it’s released publicly. But given that the less-intensive screen swaps appear to work on the beta, it seems likely they will work in the final release.

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