Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning revealed

By , Sep 10, 2013

Touch ID Home button

A last-minute leak from our friends over at suggested that Apple would refer to the rumored iPhone 5s fingerprint sensor as Touch ID. The rumors were true: Apple first revealed the top-end iPhone 5s which has a much-improved camera and runs two times faster A7 chip that’s 64-bit (the first for a phone) and a new motion chip called M7.

The executives saved the best part for the end of the presentation: the built-in fingerprint scanning feature which draws from Apple’s 2012 acquisition of the Israeli biometric sensor experts AuthenTec. Jump past the fold for the full reveal..

In another potential breakthrough – and in accordance with leaks, patents and rumors – the fingerprint sensor is integrated right into the Home button’s silver ring. Confirming rumor-mill chatter, the sensor allows users to log in more quickly and with greater security.

Touch ID hardware

The sensor itself is 170 microns thin and is based on capacitive touch technology with a whopping 500 points per inch resolution which allows it to scan sub-epidermal skin layers in a 360-degree freedom. In other words, no matter how you swipe with your finger over the Home button, Touch ID just works.

Touch ID specs

Another great feature: instead of entering your iTunes credentials each time you want to buy a new app or other content from the iTunes Store, iOS 7 simply puts up a prompt asking to scan your fingerprint.

That’ll be a huge time-saver!

Touch ID scan fingerprint

Touch ID works in tandem with the underlying iOS 7 technologies and features like Activation Lock to prevent unauthorized access for thieves. Apple assures that it stores your fingerprint on the device and says it never backs it up to the cloud.

Touch ID success

This is another seismic shift in mobile.

Biometric security is important and with nearly half a billion iTunes accounts with credit cards enabled for one-click purchasing, the sky is the limit. While Apple did not talk about using fingerprint sensor to authenticate real-life purchases, we have no doubt in our minds that they will be rolling additional features over time.

Right now, only the iPhone 5s has Touch ID, but with new iPads reportedly up for an introduction next month we think it’s only a matter of time before every iOS devices included biometric security as standard feature.

The plastic iPhone 5c won’t ship with the sensor because it doesn’t have a fast A7 chip.

So, is Touch ID a killer feature?

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  • Martynas Linkevicius

    fbjsdfbsdhfbsdfhusdvbfuh im sooooooo happy rihtnow

    • Singed

      So now the definition of happy became “type out unreadable nonsense”?

  • hkgsulphate


    • Joseph

      Sure! Are you sure you didn’t want to give it to Apple, though?

      • hkgsulphate

        im still using 3GS 😉

    • Moi

      I’m excited 2 , first I thought this Senser will be boring but now it sounds and looks cool 🙂

    • seyss

      that phrase is so gay

      • Wilfred Lim

        gay or geek, u still gonna see people queue up for it

      • seyss

        what does that have to do with the gay phrase?

  • Joseph

    As I said before, Apple is becoming way too predictable now. Nice job ‘doubling down’ on security, Tim.

    When he said that, I don’t think he meant making Apple’s info more secure. I think he meant he’s destroying existing security…

    • Rowan09

      No it’s just that its a lot harder to hide things now a days.

      • Joseph

        Depends, really.

  • Martynas Linkevicius

    not having to put apple id password when downloading something? omg

  • Dan

    Cool feature, but not ‘killer’ imo. It’s not something that makes me NEED the phone.

    • Moi

      I used to agree with u but now I’m falling for it

      • Der Faust


    • Singed

      Agreed. I see absolutely no reason to upgrade your iPhone if you have the iPhone 4 or higher. Both this and Siri are just too gimmicky, and won’t be used properly until years from now.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        lol, iP4 users should upgrade already

      • HackThatTap

        Are you kidding? Not everyone can afford a 600$ every 2-3 years !

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        are you kidding? 3 years to save 600$ = you have to save 6$ every week(less than 1$ per day) – every one can do that, if,of course,they want a good phone….

        btw im iP4 user

      • Dan

        so you mean to say that our lives should revolve around putting money away each day so that someday we can have the chance to purchase a new cell phone…. i feel life is worth a little more than that lol. but if mummy and daddy can afford it, go ahead :p

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        you obviously missed the point, but Im not gonna fight about it (much)…your “life is worth a little more than that” is nonsense. if you are not rich enough to buy new phone,and you want it, you have to be saving some money, thats normal process for everyone(who aren’t rich),and that has nothing to do with revolving life around money, i don’t know where you got that from. i was just explaining that 3 years are pretty long to save 600 bucks, thats all

      • Singed

        This isn’t if you can afford a phone every 2-3 years, it’s if it’s worth 650$ or will it be like throwing the money down the sink. I might be mistaken about the iPhone 4, since iOS 7 won’t run on it (right?) so iPh 4 users might want to upgrade, since iOS 7 DOES seem pretty good. However, people who have an iPhone 5 and they break their contracts so they could have the exact same phone but with a gimmicky feature seem kinda dumb, don’t they?

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        well i was talking about iP4 users,since iOS7 have half of features on iP4 than on iP5+…..upgrading from iP5 is stupid of course

  • Yash Gorana

    Now I can’t wait for S(h)am(e)sung to release a new $79 candy colored 6″ phone with fingerprint sensor and 64-bit architecture.

    • Guest

      Stop trying to start comment wars.

      • Yash Gorana

        you’re the same moron who previously commented on my comment. Not allowed. Get out. And we’ll see how samsung copies apple blatantly.

      • Joseph

        As if Apple doesn’t copy Android or Samsung blatantly. You know that camera feature on the 5S that takes multiple photos and shows the best one? The Galaxy SIV has had that since it’s release.

      • Yash Gorana

        Yawwwnnn…… well you’re boring.

      • Joseph

        Can’t come up with something better?

      • Christian Morales

        He’s mad cause real talk apple products are for basic ass people if your not into full customizing of your Fone or doing things freely without iTunes hindering you… then apple the way to go… #teamandroid

      • Singed

        Trolls can never come up with decent comebacks.

      • Guest

        Newsflash, Apple copies other companies, too. I told you to stop because all you are trying to do is start pointless wars. The only original thing I have seen at this at this event is the 64-bit architecture, and I don’t quite see how that will make the phone all that better (I haven’t read much about it yet).

      • Joseph

        Why don’t you go back and use the phone you have instead of concerning yourself with a different phone maker?

      • Joseph

        So do I, which is why I’m here. I’m telling you to keep using Apple. Ignore Samsung and Android in general if it irks you that much, and try not to piss other people off, since it’s definitely not relevant to you.

      • Guest

        Excellent retort!

    • Joseph

      Who gives a damn if they do? You? Hell no. You have the device you want, so you don’t have to bother with others. Stop being a troll and trying to incite flame wars.

    • Boss

      LOL why you got a Chelsea picture? don’t they have Samsung on their T-Shirts

      • Yash Gorana

        I support the team. Not their sponsor.

    • Dan

      Everyone copies everybody, that’s business. If no one copied, no one would innovate. Would you prefer a monopoly where it’s either product x or nothing at all? By all means, buy what you want, but you’re a few fries short of a Happy Meal if you think only Apple has a right to 64 bit architecture.

    • JulianZHuang

      It’s not shamesung, it’s copysung

  • Philipp Steigler


  • Khan Rulzz

    awesome !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sway

    How fast is wht I need to know

  • Sway

    How fast is it I mean

  • Taf Khan

    So if a criminal uses an iPhone 5s, will he or she be easier to locate by law enforcement agencies?

    • Wilfred Lim

      i think it holds some potentials in the jailbreak community…
      some interesting tweaks gonna be able to come from this…

      • Taf Khan

        Yeah… They could call the jailbreak app “Jail Me”!

  • Jeff Ramirez

    Still not sure how I feel about this fingerprint sensor, regardless if it stays on your local device or not. Especially with our gov’t snooping around everyone crap! Maybe I’ll break the home button when I get my new phone LOL.

    • Joseph

      The government has all of our fingerprints already, if you live in the US.

      • Jeff Ramirez

        Sure they may have it already, but do I want them to know where I am at all times?! I’m sure they don’t care two shits about my whereabouts, but the fact that they can is troubling.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        …and if you don’t live in the US, you don’t give a sh*t about NSA

  • abdullah575

    This is crazy !!!! APPLE!!!

  • buritka

    so apple will start collecting our fingerprints now ,Great!!

    • NaSty

      Great, that means everyone will be on the fingerprint database/system. Ooooooh illuminati 🙂
      Im serious tho, its not cool collecting fingerprints

      • Person

        They dont collect the finger prints they are stored locally

      • disqus_Cz2Utkm4UO

        And how do YOU now? Or did iOS become an open source project?

  • Merman123

    Not a killer feature , but definitely nice.

    I’m confused though, is the home button still a physical button? Meaning does it still need to be pressed to trigger a response ?

    • Frozen Bee .GFKS


  • Milo

    After antennagate and scuffgate, seems like we gonna have a fingerprintgate this time?

  • coejam

    Now I start worry about my fingers!

  • ehX

    “Touch ID works in tandem with the underlying iOS 7 technologies and features like Activation Lock to prevent unauthorized access for thieves. Apple assures that it stores your fingerprint on the device and says it never backs it up to the

    Let’s just remember the articles iDownloadBlog posted a few days ago about the NSA. Apparently they can remotely decrypt our encrypted iPhone backups on our computers and get whatever they want out of them. So even if this information is stored on our device and encrypted, I’ll bet anything the NSA can access it if they want to.

    Sticking with the iPhone 5 forever, not getting any iDevice with a fingerprint sensor.

    • dee jay anarki

      thank you!!!!!! stole the letters off my keyboard!!!! AMEN

      • ehX

        No problem. I will never own any device with a fingerprint sensor, especially an Apple one after reading how much access the NSA has. =)

    • nyangejr

      unless the NSA steals the iPhone 5S from me, then they get my fingerprint

  • patmack

    The NSA will love this!

  • Dani Hayes

    “This is another seismic shift in mobile” but not when Motorola had it.

  • adnan

    the most exiting part of the event isn’t it?

  • adnan

    i think the letter c stands for colors

    • nyangejr

      there’s an article for that

  • blubberblabla

    I know all Americans already gave their Fingerprints to the Governement (and the NSA) but some countries still believe in Privacy and Human Rights.

    I hoped so much that the fingerprint sensor will come next year, so i could buy this year iphone without sending my Fingerprints to Apple (and the NSA, etc.).
    Sadly, it’s already in this one and i have to move to another company :'(

    (I wonder how long it will take untill the first fingerprint hacks will show up… Many Video tutorials on how to leave fake fingerprints to get someone else to jail are already out on the internet, so this combination would be priceless, to get ridd of the people you don’t like,…)

  • Fiko

    i dont buy iphone 5s SCARY NSA

  • nyangejr

    Apple assures that it stores your fingerprint on the device and says it never backs it up to the cloud.


  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    Continue speaking thoroughly about the new product and then we shall discuss a transaction. Okay, I’m sold. Apple’s lucky my dad broke his 4S and is taking my 5, other wise, I could rock with the 5 for another year. But still, this is going to be a great upgrade because I’m going to make so many slo-mo videos. I love the finger print scanner as well. But most importantly, gun metal… oh wait, I mean space grey… no I really meant gun metal, it sounds cooler so whatever. 😀

  • xxObliteratorxx

    Although I do hope the new Haswell MacBook Pro Retina will have a sensor too

  • @dongiuj

    Wow, a lot of numbers there. Lets see how well it works and how long for without problems in the real world with everyday use…
    Also, I wonder how acurately you need to place your finger on that home button space.

  • Person

    For all those who think that the NSA will use there finger print for something. If it is stored locally it never touches the internet. It is also heavily encrypted, according to apple, but they might be required to have a back door or something, but even so, the government already has your finger print so I don’t see what the big deal is, and because the biometric data cant be accessed through the web they would need to have physical access to your phone, and if they had that it wouldn’t be that hard for them to get your finger print from you, infact it would probably take less time to do that than to crack apples encryption and or get into your phone and use the back door that might be there to access you finger print.

    • blubberblabla

      You do know that the NSA have complete Access to your itunes and Iphone Backups and are able to decrypt them?

      They also have Control to iTunes, on which your Fingerprints will be stored. But anyway it’s not a big Problem to get the fingerprints from the iphone when it’s connected to the PC…

      Your Fingerprints might be already stored because you live in the US, but there are other Countries who know what human rights are, and are able to spell words like “privacy” and “laws”….

      • Person

        if the encrypted version of the print stays on the phone it never hits the backup (from what I’ve read / heard) so it will never hit the pc. Why do you think apple stated that anyway? It is in their best interests (financially and trust wise) to keep the NSA away from your print.