As it is said that something has to disappear for something else to take birth; this year, we saw the death of TouchID paving the way for a new ‘button-less’ era. All the three new iPhone models released this year are sans TouchID and they feature FaceID instead.
TouchID arrived back in 2013 with the release of iPhone 5S, and since then Apple has shipped it on various iPhone and iPad models.
Touch ID – More Than Unlocking Lock Screen
As time passed, Apple made several improvements and the iDevices now run the 2nd generation of the technology. Still, cheaper devices including the 9.7-inch iPad 2017 and 2018 models come fitted with the first generation Touch ID. Obviously, it’s a move to keep the costs down.
Built right into the signature home button, the biometric tech works more than just giving Apple fans access to their devices. It’s used on the iTunes store, App Store, and also other places where fingerprint authentication is required for purchases and app installation. For instance, while making credit card payments or using the iCloud keychain.iOS devices feature a coprocessor called “Secure Enclave” which stores the keys created after encrypting the fingerprint information. The data on the chip is not synced to the cloud nor the main OS can access it. When required, the Secure Enclave itself performs the decryption of the security key.
This is all that stuff you mostly know if you’re a regular Apple user. But it seems there won’t be a need for people to know about TouchID because Apple has already killed it.
Handing The Torch To FaceID
I bet, TouchID would have laughed and cried at the same time when Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering failed to unlock the phone in the first attempt using the Face ID in the launch event of iPhone X.
When Face ID was released first, many obvious questions were regarding the security and privacy. Many people tried fooling the Face ID with photos, twin tests, and by creating replicas of the human face. Even a mother-son duo managed to bypass the Face ID.
The main motive behind bringing Face ID was ease of access and not security. Of course, it brought improvements on the security front owing to a grid of 30,000 infrared dots that are projected on the face thus making a detailed face map of your face. Flood illuminator is used for projecting infrared light on your face to help camera detect efficiently in low-light scenarios. The camera reads the dots projected on your face and the data is collated to detect your face.
iPhone is not the only device that has parted ways from TouchID. Various rumors and reports have suggested that upcoming iPad models would ship with FaceID and most probably say goodbye to the older counterpart. The challenge is making the TouchID work in the landscape mode as the majority of people use iPad horizontally.
But all of this didn’t stop Apple, and here we are, seeing new iPhones without the home button for the second time. The future of TouchID is dark and we don’t have any idea whether we would see it again in the future Apple devices or not.