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Fingerprint scanner reportedly now integrated into iPhone 5S prototypes for testing

Fingerprint scanner apparently coming to iPhone 5s, will be in the Home button

There have been rumors of an integrated fingerprint scaner for the iPhone 5s for a while, and a recent part leak have added more credibility to the idea. Now Apple might be ready to start testing it in actual iPhone 5s prototypes, however, according to 9to5Mac:

[The] new Home button’s design will not be noticeably convex. Perhaps the shape has changed, but the tweaked button is nothing distinct enough for the iPhone 5s to be identified as anything but an iPhone 5 by the untrained eye. There’s the possibility, however, that the etching and border of the Home button could become more shiny and look slightly different.

The fingerprint scanner for the iPhone 5s is said to work quite well, especially compared to similar scanners found on other devices, which tend to be of questionable quality. Apple acquired fingerprint scanner-manufacturer Authentec last year, and the sensor is said to be a product of their technology. Despite the presence of the scanner, the shape and look of the Home button is not expected to change much if at all.

Security is the driving force behind the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner: Apparently, a very small percentage of iPhone owners actually use a passcode on their device, and a fingerprint sensor could take some of the hassle out of security. From the sound of it, the fingerprint scanner on the 5S will be on by default, with the user able to turn it off in Settings.

Do you think you'll use a fingerprint scanner instead of, or in addition to, a passcode?

Source: 9to5Mac

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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There are 34 comments. Add yours.

Carioca32 says:

I seriously doubt that's going to be practical. Wouldn't we have to use the same area of our fingers on the home button every time? And will it resister the impression in the split second it takes to push a button? I usually press with the tip, but depending on the circumstances I use different fingers from both hands, even fingernails. Will we be able to record parts of all our fingers? Not to mention that half of the time I wake my iPhone from the power button, not the home.

This one I'll have to see and test to believe.

BigDog353 says:

How will it affect the cases and covers that are sure to follow? My phones have never seen the light of day without either an Otterbox of Lifeproof Case on them and both of those have the home button covered. So...This should be interesting to see how it plays out!

Gazoobee says:

For all those reasons, it seems clear that the home button fingerprint scanner won't be able to detect your finger when you press the button. Rather it would have to be a situation where if you *need* your fingerprint scanned for some other purpose, you can lay it on the home button for that purpose. I don't see why they put it in the home button at all if that's the case, it would be better to have it integrated into the screen.

Derrick4Real says:

i can see people having to wait for it to register and simply disabling this because it's quicker to just press the home button and slide to open.

RealNeal says:

Since I'm getting Exchange email on my iPhone, I am forced to have a pass code. A fingerprint scanner would be nice if its faster and easier than entering a passcode.

BBooDad says:

I got rid of my hospital's Exchange email on my iPhone (by wipe and reinstalling everything else) because of the idiotic password control all the time. A fingerprint scanner could make it doable, if it was really reliable, and flexible. I tried an Authentec scanner in the 90's that was pretty good then, so I would suppose it will be reliable. Flexibility remains to be seen, as I frequently have my wife or son answer texts while I am driving.

I still miss the original PalmOS password control on TopSecret (I believe) that allowed you to just tap out a pattern on it. Wish iOS did that as an alternate for a fingerprint scanner.

Jobook1 says:

Seems useless for me... but to each his own!

cosby01 says:

For those to whom security vs convenience is a daily battle, I love it. It would be great if the home button went to the default security code option if it does not detect your thumb properly such as when you tap the home button with your index or even fingernail as noted in an earlier post. Same for the sleep button... tap it and you have to use the security code. But for everyday use when you are "normally" using your thumb on the home button, a fingerprint scanner is a phenomenal feature!

richard_rsp says:

Hmm, interesting. I am assuming that they also will offer a traditional bypass code? Since texting is illegal (and stupid) while driving in Georgia, I often will hand my phone to my wife to allow her to text, look up directions, answer emails, etc. for me. I would hate to have to "turn off" the feature every time I hand it to her.

Ron Miller 85763 says:

I would guess that you would be able to register more than one person's fingerprints if you wanted. Not quite as important for the iPhone which tends to be used by one person only, but it would be essential if they add the sensor to the iPad.

SPrell says:

If it works with the new iCloud keychain in iOS 7, and I can use it instead of entering passwords in all my apps that require one, I will use it all the time. It would seem to me that's where they are headed with this, not just for the lock screen passcode. If it only works with the lock screen pass code, then forget it.

LozBlanko says:

That's exactly what I was about to type. Your fingerprint could replace every password, not just the code to unlock. Sounds like a very powerful and exclusive / market-leading feature to me.

SockRolid says:

re: "Do you think you'll use a fingerprint scanner instead of, or in addition to, a passcode?"

F-ck yeah.

41BP says:

I think they're headed for mobile payments. It would also be nice to see it used for apps. ie. Photos. But back too mobile payments. It would be a great feature to secure your CC with.

That said, gimmick or not. It'll be the next big thing from every other phone maker after Apple shows how it's done.

MsLoveTech says:

Intel Apple have there Event on September 10 and put all these Rumors to rest I'm not saying yes are not to the finger scanner

Sent from the iMore App

mclarensr says:

I will use it. Used it in the past when I owned a Motorola Atrix. With the Atrix, for me, it was quite a challenge to unlock using fingerprint. Will have to see how this works.

Unless people use their thumb print, it will be very hard to use this phone with one hand (for the unlock at least). Using the phone with one hand is something Apple has advertised since almost the first iPhone.

prlundberg says:

That was my first thought too. Neat idea but will it work any better than a pin or pattern? I guess since it doesn't matter if people see you unlocking it or not it will be more secure, so that's a plus.

I have a feeling it may be like facial recognition on Android...neat, and generally works well, but fails enough to make it too annoying to use all the time. I've never used a fingerprint scanner that I'd consider convenient and accurate enough for use on my phone. But who knows, maybe they'll surprise me.

Gazoobee says:

It will be pretty awful if the home button isn't concave anymore. I don't see this as being useful enough to offset the damage to the overall design it's going to do.

khobia2 says:

Yep would use it. I find typing in a pin to wake the phone a hassle. So let's hope it's practical and Apple gets it right the first time.

felface says:

i would definitely use it instead

heberman says:

I would absolutely use it. I would change my regular password to be about 13 characters long and then just use that as a backup if my fingerprint doesn't work.

Then just try to get into my iPhone.

jngmin00 says:

Is the purpose of finger print scanner security? If it was, I think it's not neccessary for users like me who never locks their phone with a passcode.

RorryAffiat says:

i will use it, and i think yes it will be better than passcode.. and i think it can be set like passcode, "turn on finger print security after the phone sleep in 1 minute or more" so you don't always have to put your thumb if you still using your phone.
imagine finger print security for your apps, passbook, itunes store, work email, new iOS7 security(where you have to enter your icloud account if you want to erase and activate), digital wallet and maybe mobile payment.

nat750 says:

Be nice to have the choice to use it or not.

Sent from the iMore App

ZeroT says:

So a company that reportedly submits data to the NSA will now have a digital copy of everyones fingerprints...

BBooDad says:

ALL COMPANIES SUBMIT DATA TO US. WE ARE THE OVERLORDS. WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL. WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL.

... or not. But get over it. NSA has been doing the phone monitoring since 2002. Snowden just made a bigger splash about the whole thing, and more money from the Russki's.

jrywmk says:

interesting, I like the idea if it is quicker as entering a pin, certainly one handed is a pain, but my phone is not used/accessed just by me, the kids us it and so does the wife, so what would happen if I wanted others to access the phone? Will there be an option to unlock with either pin or scan, or both!? I'm not sure what other phones do that have scanners never played with one!

lnessman says:

What a bunch of Ass Clowns, you guys have no idea what you are talking about. First off, you are completely ignorant if product life cycles, making the statement that Apple is just now testing a prototype of this phone, geeezzz, guys, they are going to be shipping these phones within a couple of weeks. Lol

Second, your inability to see the utility of such a security feature is beyond laughable .... This is obviously one of those things where people will look back and say "duh, duh, Apple came out with something that nobody thought they needed, but now we can't live without."

NorthGuy798 says:

Latest rumour is that the Finger Print Scanner on the iPhone will also have an App for health. It will display your pulse rate, body temperature, etc. Finger to use will be your thumb

It is also linked to SIRI. SIRI & the Finger Print scanner will have a few additional functions linked to the user.