It's Time to Bring the Touch ID Power Button to the iPhone

The iPhone 11 power button with the Touch ID icon.Apple

Apple has spent the last few years trying to ditch Touch ID in favor of its hands-free Face ID system. But the company is backing down with its latest product, an iPad Air with a Touch ID power button. And as the wearing of masks continues to fly with Face ID, Apple must bring its new fingerprint sensor to the next iPhone.

Why doesn’t the iPhone X or 11 have a fingerprint sensor?

Touch ID is one of the many victims of the iPhone X. The iPhone X was the first Apple product to ditch the home button for full screen display, and one of the first smartphones (if not the only smartphone) to introduce a reliable and usable face scanner for device security.

Apple could have added a rear or side mounted fingerprint sensor to the iPhone X, but why bother? Face ID is more secure than a fingerprint reader and is not sabotaged by wet or dirty digits. It also works when you’re wearing gloves, and many people with disabilities find Face ID more accessible than a touch-sensitive fingerprint reader.

Unfortunately, Face ID doesn’t work when your face is covered by a mask, which worries very few people in 2017. Android users can use their fingerprint sensor (or Iris scanner) to quickly unlock their phone at the grocery store, iPhone users have to type in a pin again like their 2010.

We may have a COVID-19 vaccine sometime in 2021, but we cannot go back to the “old normal” that led to Face ID. Many Americans (myself included) are interested in using masks when they have a cold or the flu, or when they attend large events where germs are easily spread. And if the iPhone 12 doesn’t offer Touch ID alongside Face ID, many Apple customers will find themselves fumbling around in public just to unlock their premium devices.

Let’s face it, facial ID was never enough

A person wearing a biohazard suit trying to unlock their iPhone.Konstantin Savusia / Shutterstock

It’s time for honesty. Even without a global pandemic that is spreading through every conceivable disease carrier, the iPhone needs a fingerprint sensor. Face ID is an impressive system, but it doesn’t work from all angles and is not preferred by all users. Accompanying the existing Face ID system with a Touch ID power button would instantly make the iPhone a more usable universal device.

Unlike Android phones which use your selfie camera for simple face unlock systems, iPhones use an IR-blaster to “see” your face in 3D. That’s why iPhones can quickly detect your face from almost any angle in all lighting conditions. But there are some everyday situations that take you out of Face ID’s field of vision. Using Face ID while your phone is placed face up on a table or on a kickstand is a minor inconvenience, and unlocking your phone for a passenger in your car requires you to take your eyes off the road or disclose your location. coded.

A Touch ID sensor would instantly solve these minor inconveniences and appeal to people who prefer fingerprint sensors to facial recognition systems. And while Touch ID may seem like a strange “step backwards” for Apple, it isn’t what customers think! Critics and Apple fans regularly praise the $ 400 iPhone SE for its use of Touch ID and almost never mentions that the phone does not have Face ID. The iPhone SE’s successful use of Touch ID may have even influenced Apple’s latest product, the 4th generation iPad Air.

Is the iPad Air a clue as to what’s to come?

The new iPad Air with its Touch ID power button.The new iPad Air with its Touch ID power button. Apple

As I mentioned at the top of this article, the new ipad air sports the full screen design of the iPad Pro and Apple iPhone. It doesn’t have a home button, but it also ignores Face ID. Apple’s solution for the new iPad Air is a Touch ID power button, something that is inexpensive, usable, and more appealing to Apple than an unreliable under-display fingerprint reader or a sensor mounted on it. the back which violates the design.

This Touch ID sensor would work perfectly on the iPhone 12 and would be the perfect time to implement it. Not only are we in the middle of a pandemic, wearing masks may be more common in the future. Plus, Face ID has some inherent issues and annoyances that a Touch ID sensor would solve. If the COVID-19 virus were to go away tomorrow, adding Touch ID to the new iPhone would still be a good idea.

We won’t know if the iPhone 12 has a Touch ID sensor until Apple’s iPhone event is announced on October 13. And while some reporters and leakers have early access to the metallic “dummy models” of the iPhone 12, we can’t use those models to determine if the iPhone 12 has a Touch ID power button. Anyway, we’ll remind you to watch the event as soon as details become available! 😉

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