Apple will be introducing a host of new features with iOS 11.3, scheduled to arrive "this spring". One of the upcoming features has been aimed at family purchases. While Face ID on the iPhone X made a lot of processes easier for users, some have been complaining about the missing functionality in Family Sharing's Ask to Buy feature. However, Apple looks set to introduce the feature with the iOS 11.3 update, allowing users to utilise Face ID in Ask to Buy, instead of manually entering a password every time.
Family Sharing is a feature offered for Apple devices users that wish them to be connected to purchasing subscriptions and apps. Additionally, the Ask to Buy feature lets children in the family choose to purchase apps, albeit with the approval of a 'family organiser'. While testing iOS 11.3 Beta, 9to5Mac spotted that purchase approvals on a parent's device can be done using Face ID, after a one-time request to enter a password. Once the password has been entered, a user is asked if they would like to enable Face ID, in order to setup the feature. Notably, the feature is not documented in Apple's iOS 11.3 beta release notes or on the Ask to Buy support page.
Apple introduced Face ID as a replacement for Touch ID while launching the iPhone X. Third-party apps that used Touch ID could utilise the new feature automatically in most cases. However, in December, as per a post on Apple's iPhone forum, iPhone X users had discovered that family purchases cannot be authenticated via Face ID. The forum post had mentioned that every family purchase request prompted the user to type in their Apple ID and password. In the iPhone X, entering Apple ID credentials is currently compulsory before authenticating purchases as Apple didn't have a solution to the problem until now.
Meanwhile, Apple announced the availability of iOS 11.3 developer preview last week. As per the announcement, some key features coming with iOS 11.3 include a battery health monitor, new Animoji, the ability to disable slowdowns, improvements to ARKit, and the introduction of Health Records.