Touch ID will return to iPhone

The Home button will soon disappear completely from Apple mobile devices. And along with it, the easiest and most intuitive way to authenticate using fingerprints. The Home button takes up too much of your precious screen space. Face ID, a more advanced and secure way of biometric authentication, failed the COVID test. IPhone fingerprint authentication is required. Face ID and Touch ID have their pros and cons, the opinion of users is unambiguous: “give us both at once!” This is where everything goes.

Touch ID will reappear on the iPhone, but not in the same form as in the photo

The fact that Apple, in the sweat of their brow, are looking for a way to combine an edge-to-edge screen and Touch ID in one device. And not just combine, but so as not to lose anything. It’s impossible, but doing the impossible, elegantly and simply is Apple’s favorite pastime. Apple has been trying to solve the problem of finding an acceptable alternative to the Home button for many years.

Years of hard work have brought results. Mostly negative – but there were exceptions. This project was given top priority last spring. With COVID and masks becoming mandatory in public, Face ID has become almost useless. Activating the iPhone using the Apple Watch, in principle, does not solve the problem.

According to some indications, a solution to this problem that meets the requirements of Apple has been found. In May or early June this year. On iPhone 13, this solution will not be in time. But in the iPhone SE 3, an edge-to-edge iPhone 11 form factor, the debut of a new version of Touch ID would be appropriate.

The iPhone SE 3, like all SEs, won’t have Face ID. Touch ID only. But this is a leak from Apple, and even if sanctioned, it doesn’t have to be true. There is also a more significant, albeit ambiguous, sign that Apple already knows where and how to place the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone.

New Touch ID

Illustration from Apple’s 2017 patent pending 2019:

Apple patented a fingerprint scanner inscribed directly into the screen

Apple recently filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office for a continuation patent summarizing Apple’s work on this topic. This application discusses both known sensor placement methods. Both in the device unlock button (on / off) on the device body, and under the smartphone screen. Ultrasonic and optical subscreen sensors are considered. And how can the publication of a patent application point to a found solution? The results are summed up mainly in the following cases:

  • If many years of effort have been wasted, the task is deemed impossible, the project is closed. In this case, they would hardly waste time on a summarizing patent. In the course of work, all inventions were patented, Apple’s project documentation is in the archive – it makes no sense;
  • If the project is at a dead end, and it is restarted. It is known that this is not our case. In this case, it is also illogical to draw up the results of an unsuccessful stage in the form of a patent. Rather, the results would be formalized as a secret internal document;
  • Or if the goal has been achieved and the team is concentrating on the chosen option. Also strange, but to a lesser extent.

Could Apple just take stock and protect all fresh and new inventions with copyright? The sign is ambiguous, but I have already mentioned this.

Which is better: Touch ID or Face ID

Touch ID in the iPad Air 4 power button fits very well

Touch ID on iPhones with edge-to-edge screens is a must-have. They laugh at Apple: the pandemic has been defeated, the mandatory wearing of masks has already been canceled somewhere, somewhere it is about to be canceled. And Apple is finally reacting to the massive wearing of masks. I would not swear, no one expected COVID either – this time. Touch ID is actually more convenient than Face ID in many cases.

These are two. It’s a lot cheaper to add Touch ID to the flagship iPhone than to add Face ID to the budget iPhone SE. Or a budget “just iPad”. These are three. And since maximizing profits for Apple is not an empty phrase, the strongest argument is this: the return of Touch ID will increase iPhone sales. If Touch ID complements Face ID. These are four.

Under-screen fingerprint scanner for iPhone

In-display finger scanners are usually less convenient than their physical counterparts.

Most likely, Apple will not communicate with sub-screen fingerprint sensors yet. Samsung has achieved satisfactory performance using Qualcomm’s ultrasonic sub-screen fingerprint sensors. Apple spent several years experimenting with ultrasonic sensors, and in 2018 they abandoned them. Optical fingerprint sensors are more promising, according to Apple engineers.

They managed to achieve serious success, several times the victory seemed inevitable and even close – but alas. In addition, all sub-screen fingerprint sensors have insurmountable drawbacks. Subscreen sensors do not work with screens covered with a protective film. And the screen, especially not protected by such a film, is one of the most vulnerable spots of any smartphone. Even if it’s with Ceramic Shield. Scratches and chips are inevitable. Because of them, the subscreen sensors stop working. In addition, the sub-screen sensors would make the already tricky iPhone repair a lot more difficult. Hardly.

Touch ID in the lock button

Cupertino has specially developed a new type of Touch ID for the power button of the iPad Air 4

If it was possible to use the same sensor and the same design (maybe by reducing it to the required size), Touch ID could appear already in iPhone 13. Along with Face ID. There is a vanishingly tiny probability that they will nevertheless appear. The sensors in iPad Air 4 are great and awesome, but not perfect. The design needs to be improved, the list of problems that needed to be solved for this is quite large. Apparently, in the iPhone 14, in 2022, Touch ID will return.

First fingerprint scanner in the power button

Galaxy A7 was the first smartphone with a fingerprint scanner in the power button

After the release of the fourth generation iPad Air, Apple was accused of plagiarism and technical lagging behind Android. Critics were pissed off by the words of John Turnus, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware. John called the Touch ID in the lock button “a brilliant accomplishment.” On Android, in the Samsung Galaxy A7, a fingerprint sensor was integrated into a similar-purpose button in the fall of 2018.

In fact, I was the first to figure out how to integrate fingerprint sensors into the SONY on / off button, in the fourth quarter of 2015. I did not even bother to find out what kind of device it was, since the patent for the method (and the technical features of its implementation) was patented by Apple in the second quarter of the same 2015. Having tested the invention on competitors, Apple decided to try this method on their own. This is how it should be.


Source: AppleInsider.ru — крупнейший сайт о iPhone, iPad, Mac в России by appleinsider.ru.

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