Some users are complaining about Touch ID issues after updating to iOS 9.1

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 6, 2015

A growing number of iPhone and iPad users are taking to Apple’s Support Communities forums to complain about slow or unreliable Touch ID performance after applying Apple’s iOS 9.1 software update to their devices.

In addition to slow response times and unreliable performance, other issues plaguing an unknown number of users include Touch ID stopping working altogether on their iOS 9.1 devices. Read More


Apple exploring panic mode for Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Apple has submitted a new patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Thursday that would make the iPhone more secure by allowing users to place their device in a lock-down mode simply by putting a certain finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Titled “fingerprint activation of a panic mode of operation for a mobile device,” it describes unlocking a Touch ID device with a specific finger to activate a special lock-down mode that would make personal data stored on the device inaccessible to the user, or activate different modes of operation based on the particular fingerprints. Read More


iOS 9 allows access to photos and contacts on a passcode locked iPhone – here’s how to prevent it

By Jeff Benjamin on Sep 20, 2015

If you have an iPhone running iOS 9, you should be aware that it may be possible to access your photos and contacts on a locked device, even with a passcode and/or Touch ID enabled. I’ve always ignored reports on this sort of security flaw, because they always seem to pop up with every iOS iteration, and almost always require a user to jump through what seems like a million hoops.

But for some reason—call it boredom, or call it poor judgement—I got curious, and decided to try this out for myself. As it turns out, it’s not that hard to do, and it certainly seems like a security flaw in iOS to me.

I debated on whether to post this, because obviously it’s going to bring attention to a security flaw that might let people access information that they shouldn’t be accessing.

For starters, please don’t get bent out of shape over this. This does not expose any other contents of your iPhone outside of Contacts and Photos. People still can’t unlock your device, read your messages, watch videos, etc. This only allows users to view your contacts, and look at your photos (not videos) through a limited interface. Photos cannot be forwarded or shared from your iPhone.

My hope is that a). this informs users that a passcode or Touch ID security isn’t necessarily enough to keep unwanted eyes off your photos and contacts, and b). Apple will see this and provide a fix. c). show you how to prevent the issue.

The thing is, this information is already out there, and the people who will use it for the bad probably already know about it. Consider this post an attempt to educate those who do not know about this iOS 9 security hiccup. Hopefully, it’ll allow users to make smarter decisions about their iPhone’s security.
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iPhone 6c with A8 chip, Touch ID and Apple Pay coming in time for Thanksgiving?

By Christian Zibreg on Aug 21, 2015

Apple’s rumored ‘iPhone 6c’ boasting an in-house designed ‘A8’ processor, a four-inch Retina screen, Touch ID fingerprint scanning and Apple Pay mobile payments could be with you in time for Thanksgiving, according to latest reports from Apple’s supply chain.

Assuming the reports are true, the mythical device will pose a significant jump in terms of hardware versus the iPhone 5c, which runs the iPhone 5’s three-year old A6 processor and has no biometric authentication or NFC. Read More


New fingerprint scanning solution could allow seamless iPhone designs without Home buttons

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 21, 2015

A recent report by DigiTimes, a somewhat accurate Taiwanese trade publication, contended that Apple has developed in-house technology for embedding Touch ID sensors into the screen, potentially eliminating the need for the physical Home button.

Tuesday, a security technology firm called Sonavation provided a glimpse into how Home button-free iPhones could be engineered as it announced a breakthrough 3D fingerprint scanning technology embeddable under the Corning Gorilla Glass which Apple uses to protect iPhone displays. Read More


Apple to eliminate Home button by integrating Touch ID fingerprint scanning into iPhone screen

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 22, 2015

In addition to getting rid of the unsightly bands on their back, future iPhones could create more room for the screen without enlarging the whole device by putting a virtual Home button along with Touch ID sensors right into its screen.

Not only would such a solution eliminate a “chin” at the iPhone’s bottom but the Cupertino firm has already developed necessary technologies in-house, claimed a report Monday by Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes. Read More


PayPal finally adds Touch ID protection to iPhone payment app

By Christian Zibreg on May 27, 2015

PayPal’s official iPhone app in the App Store has at last received support for Touch ID authentication, nearly two years following Apple’s debut of fingerprint scanning with the iPhone 5s’s fall 2013 introduction.

As a daily PayPal user, it was annoying that the mobile app would ask me to provide my PayPal password on each run. Now that Touch ID has come to the rescue, this option, once enabled in settings, lets me authorize app access easily and securely with my fingerprint.

This is what Touch ID was created for, to protect sensitive personal information like online banking, PayPal transactions and so forth. I wish PayPal supported Touch ID much sooner but it’s better late than never, I guess. Read More


Google’s Android M to adopt Touch ID-style biometrics

By Christian Zibreg on May 22, 2015

To this date, only a few Android devices come outfitted with their own fingerprint scanner for authenticating purchases and password-protected apps, such as Huawei devices and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and S6.

Unfortunately, Google’s mobile operating system lacks system-wide support for fingerprint scanning, thereby hampering broader adoption of this useful feature, which Apple users have been enjoying for nearly two years now.

That’s about to change in Android M, the next major version of Android, which should adopt Touch ID-style biometrics, according to BuzzFeed News. Read More


Touch ID could gain new gaming features, scrolling and more

By Cody Lee on May 16, 2015

Touch ID could get significantly more useful in future iOS devices, according to an Apple patent filing revealed this week. The filing, first spotted by Patently Apple, is extremely lengthy (combines several patents) and offers an overview of where Apple thinks fingerprint technology is headed.

One of the more interesting inventions is a portable touch display with integrated fingerprint sensors. So instead of touching the Home button, you could simply touch a designated part of the display to unlock your device or authenticate something. Apple says it could even offer tactile feedback. Read More


Touch ID for App Store purchases stops working for many after updating to iOS 8.3

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 9, 2015

A growing number of users are complaining about the inability to use Touch ID fingerprint scanning to authorize purchases in the App Store after updating to iOS 8.3.

As reported on Twitter, Reddit and detailed in a thread on Apple’s Support Communities forums, iOS 8.3 appears to be asking for an Apple ID password for each and every purchase made in the App Store.

This is regardless of whether or not the option to use Touch ID in the App Store is enabled in Settings. What gives? Read More


UK banks RBS and NatWest now allow account access via Touch ID fingerprint identification

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 18, 2015

As reported Wednesday by BBC News, two banks in the United Kingdom will soon allow their customers access their bank accounts using Touch ID-based fingerprint identification technology, a UK first.

“RBS and NatWest customers must activate the feature with their security information, but would only need to use Apple’s Touch ID thereafter,” reports the BBC.

To protect their customers’ sensitive financial information and mitigate risk, the banks have put a number of restrictions in place to augment Apple’s existing Touch ID safeguards. Read More


Touch ID and Apple Pay could be coming to Apple notebooks and the desktop

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 17, 2015

Apple’s revisions to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks, as well as next-generation versions of the wireless $69 Magic Mouse and the multi-touch enabled $69 Magic Trackpad, could soon gain an embedded Touch ID sensor for fingerprint identification, if a rumor posted Tuesday by Taiwanese blog is anything to go by. The site is alleging that Apple wants to bring its payment service from the confines of iOS-powered mobile devices to your desktop. Read More


You can actually hear the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 15, 2015

It’s odd to think about, but did you know that the Touch ID sensor on your iPhone makes noise? If you hold an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus up to your ear in a quiet room and touch the Touch ID sensor, then you will hear a very faint clicking sound emitting from the vicinity of the sensor. It’s just another weird fact gleaned from the /r/apple this morning. Read More


Kuo: iPhone 6s to sport much-improved Touch ID for safer Apple Pay experience

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 10, 2015

In a note to clients obtained Monday by AppleInsider, revered analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting that the next iPhone will have a much improved and more reliable Touch ID fingerprint sensor that will “offer a better and safer Apple Pay user experience by reducing reading errors.”

An analyst with KGI Securities, Kuo is plugged deeply into Apple’s supply chain and has proven reliable. Read More


MacID review: unlock your Mac using Touch ID

By Lory Gil on Jan 30, 2015

Thanks to Bluetooth LE connectivity, users are able to connect their smartphones to their computers to share content between devices quickly, easily, and without being too taxing for battery life. On iOS and OS X, you can even do stuff like lock or unlock your Mac. Mac ID for iOS is one such app. Not only can you set it up to unlock your computer, but you can also lock it and wake the screen remotely. We’ve got a hands-on review of MacID for iOS for you today. Read More


Samsung’s Galaxy S6 rumored to adopt touch-based fingerprint sensor akin to Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 19, 2015

Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 flagship smartphone will include a much-improved fingerprint sensor which takes cues from Apple’s Touch ID in that it will recognize a fingerprint when a user places their fingertip on the Home button, according to an unverified report last week by SamMobile.

The Galaxy S5 made some noise by adding a fingerprint sensor that requires users to swipe their finger on the sensor. It didn’t win praise for quality or innovation as reviewers were quick to pan it due to inaccurate and unreliable performance, which ultimately frustrated the users. Read More


Apple patents Touch ID iCloud sync, Apple Pay POS with embedded fingerprint sensor

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2015

Thursday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a very interesting and curious patent application by Apple which describes a technology seeking to synchronize Touch ID fingerprint data between devices through iCloud.

Titled “Finger biometric sensor data synchronization via a cloud computing device and related methods,” the invention would permit biometric data to be collected on a primary device, say your iPhone, and then uploaded to iCloud for dissemination to secondary devices. Read More


Photego: secure the stock Photos app with Touch ID

By Jeff Benjamin on Jan 9, 2015

There are tweaks that exist on Cydia that allow you to secure an entire app, but to my knowledge, no tweak yet exists that allows you to secure specific aspects of the stock Photos app with Touch ID. That’s where Photego comes in, a new jailbreak tweak that allows you to prevent users from deleting photos, accessing albums, and more via Touch ID. Read More


It’s easy to create a fingerprint from smartphone photos of someone’s finger

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 29, 2014

Admittedly, Touch ID has popularized and mainstreamed biometric security on mobile devices using an impression made on a surface by the inner part of the top joint of a finger.

Having debuted on the iPhone 5s, Apple’s in-house sensor built into the Home button is based on a sophisticated technology by Israeli smart sensor maker AuthenTec, which the Cupertino firm snapped up in July of 2012 for a reported $356 million.

However, existing fingerprint-based security solutions could be easily bypassed by generating a fingerprint image from a series of photos of someone’s finger, no physical print necessary whatsoever, according to claims by Chaos Computer Club, Europe’s largest association of hackers.

As relayed by VentureBeat, the hackers have now successfully demonstrated a proof-of-concept by copying the thumbprint of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

They used a close-up photograph of von der Leyen’s thumb, obtained during a news conference in October, along with photographs taken from different angles, said Jan Krissler aka “Starbug” at the 31st annual Chaos Computer Club convention in Hamburg, Germany. Read More


The best apps with Touch ID support of 2014

By Lory Gil on Dec 26, 2014

I still remember the first time I used Touch ID to unlock my iPhone. It was like magic. I’ve gotten so used to the feature that unlocking my iPad Air just feels like an exhausting experience. Why can’t I just touch the Home button to unlock everything, like my bike lock, my front door, or the trunk of my car? With iOS 8, Apple granted third-party apps the ability to use biometrics to unlock their apps, too. Now, any supported app you have can be set up to require your grubby paw so you don’t have to exhaust yourself by typing in those dang passwords.

The writing team at iDB have taken a few moments to decide which Touch ID-supported apps were worth mentioning. Then, we voted on our favorites. Today, we’ve got a list of the winner and runner-ups. Since Touch ID extensions are only a few months old, we’ve skipped the part about spotlighting the best app ever. Read More

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