The Wall Street Journal today corroborated earlier reports claiming Apple will be outfitting this year’s upcoming iPhone 13 family with an in-screen Touch ID fingerprint reader, joining Face ID.
Joanna Stern, writing for The Wall Street Journal, has learned from two former Apple employees that the company’s been working on in-screen fingerprint technology. Not only that but it’s apparently “considered including both Touch ID and Face ID on the same device.”
Her write-up basically confirms a recent report from Bloomberg’s well-informed Mark Gurman, which said that Apple is currently testing in-screen Touch ID sensors for the iPhone 13.
“This would add a new method for users to unlock their iPhone, going beyond a passcode and Face ID facial recognition,” Bloomberg wrote. We’ll find out whether Apple will bring back Touch ID to the next iPhone in September when the iPhone 13 family should be announced.
Reviving Touch ID because of COVID
In the past few months, media reports said Apple has decided to bring back Touch ID. The reports are probably true because Apple was surveying customers following the iPhone 12 release to get their opinions on a range of topics, including Face ID and Touch ID.
Face ID is an awesome feature that has enabled Apple to refine the iPhone’s industrial design and usher in an era of fullscreen smartphones. And then came the coronavirus and Face ID is no longer a convenient solution for unlocking your iPhone while wearing a mask.
Furthermore, Touch ID may also be coming to a future Apple Watch if Apple’s patent for a fingerprint reader built into the Side button (see above) is anything to go by. And for the iPad Air 4, as you know, Apple has created a Touch ID reader built into the power button at the top.
And let’s not forget code strings in macOS suggesting Face ID may be coming to Macs, too.
How about fullscreen Touch ID?
In our view, Apple should build a Touch ID sensor into the next iPhone’s power button as a convenient authentication method for the coronavirus times. The power button on the right side is as fast to reach as the Home button—unlocking the handset with Touch ID shouldn’t be a problem versus having to rest the finger on a specific, and small, area of the display.
Unless, of course, Apple has managed to develop a fullscreen Touch ID technology, which would be very unlike the current in-display fingerprint sensors utilized on Android handsets.