Touch ID for iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3

There's a story going around that Touch ID sensors are being manufactured in anticipation for the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. So what does that mean?

Given the history of supply-chain reporting it's hard to say. Flipping a coin is about as reliable. It's also hard to say that it actually matters. Of course the iPhone 6 is going to have Touch ID. It's not like Apple's going to dump the feature. And of course the next generation iPads will have Touch ID. If Apple could have, they would have included Touch ID in the last generation iPads as well. What, you think anyone, anywhere, is happy unlocking their iPad like an animal?

If it somehow reassures you that rumors of Touch ID for iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 is making its way through the Asian press, then be reassured. If you kind of figured that Apple would make sure a technology as important as Touch ID moved across the iOS product line as fast as possible, then you've already got all the assurance you need.

If Apple holds to the same pattern as the previous couple of years, the iPhone 6 should launch sometime this September. Likewise, the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are expected to be announced and released sometime around October of 2014.

Anyone else eagerly awaiting Touch ID everywhere?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Touch ID for iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3


Count me as eagerly awaiting. When Touch ID was first announced, it sounded like a gimmick to me. But having used it on my iPhone 5S it is no gimmick, it is too easy not to use. Now when I unlock my iPad Air I just stare at it in disappointment. Plus I think it gives current generation iPad owners a legitimate reason to upgrade(something Apple obviously wants us to do). Internal specs are already through the roof and they cannot get much thinner, so Apple has to provide us with another reason to go from the iPad Air 1 to the iPad Air 2. Security is a must today, and being able to lock down my device without having to enter a code every time I unlock it is near priceless. It is almost a no brainer for Apple to add Touch ID going forward.

Internal specs really aren't through the roof. All current iOS devices suffer from having far too little RAM (see Safari's inability to hold pages resident in multiple tabs for example. The GPU is also looking somewhat rustic now. The new Tegra K1 is twice as quick, and is fast enough to run Xbox 360 and PS3 level visuals. Apple have some serious catch up to do.

nVidia's got some 'splainin to do. Tegras1-4 were MASSIVE failures, so much so Adreno and Qualcomm are almost ubiquitous throughout Android land. It'll be some time before the OEMs 'trust' nVidia's claims of the 'new K1' as to my knowledge isn't actually available...anywhere, is it? Apple's A7 is besting today's competition even WITH your challenge with Safari tabs reloading. It's not a problem in any situation you're using a reasonable amount of tabs. Two or three are fine. They're using no more than 20mb of RAM/page and that's a HUGE page cache. It's how Safari is coded. It's the ONLY actual comment or 'challenge' folks seem to site and automatically blame it on RAM! I use Mercury myself and have no issues with three or four tabs. If I'm responding, I'll select and copy just in case but in ANY other tasking situations, the current A7 chip is Mind Blowing. It's an engineering marvel, fast as hell, efficient and incredibly reliable and stable. For a single .1 update to a 'ground up' re-write, iOS 7.11 on the Air, rMini and 5s is STILL setting atop or in the top two or three positions for performance, a half year later. Heads are rolling at Qualcomm as they're busting their asses to get 64bit chips together offering a pretty insignificant bump in the snapdragon 800/01/05/10 series this year...and again, a challenge...OTHER than a Safari tab reloading (which on LTE is almost instantaneous as well, on a decent wifi network...population is almost immediate), to convince me more RAM is necessary at this there ANY apps you can point to that suffer because of memory? My Air, my wife's new mini and the 5s ALL perform admirably! Incredible stability with the 7.1 update and with the 4mb buffer built into the SoC, the DDR3 update from 2 sped the memory up, while also saving battery and now there's actually a memory buffering system built into the silicon itself. To me it's weird. I've got a Note 3 and it's got 3GB of RAM. I've got the iPhone 5s, a single, measly GB. YET, when I play games...the iPhone, iPad and iOS experience on the latest hardware is consistently better than the Note. I love my Note 3 as a business tool, it's awesome. But I'm not convinced RAM is as necessary as folks will continue to parrot. An excellent study was done by a developer on macrumors. He measured Safari tab memory usage, caching and any 'leakage'. His findings, even with five tabs open, including Facebook and another heavy java based, busy site...the 'call' was for less than 45-50mb to retain the info at any given time. Grab a system monitor and look at the free and available RAM, even with several apps'll be amazed. I'm not against more, but battery life is paramount and while your phone is powered on, RAM will constantly be 'using' energy. Apple is into energy savings and battery life. To me, and as an owner of each iPad, the while Safari 'tab reloading' argument is old. Play asphalt 8 on a 5s and
Note 3---amazingly enough, that RAM doesn't seem to help bet is crappy Safari coding or trade off with their 'engine'. Other browsers; Mercury, iCab...even Chrome don't suffer these issues. Maybe that's why it doesn't bug me. I prefer these to Safari. That said, I've got access to 32 tracks on GarageBand. Instruments. Vocals. Horns and strings. Percussion and sound effects, without latency, with MIDI control and to me, that's Mind Blowing in a one pound, 12-15 hour, and 1GB of RAM package. Unfortunately only the A7s allow 32tracks. The A5/6(x) are I believe 16. Possibly 8 on the earlier A4.
Just. Saying. I'm curious about the K1. But it's not in a device. Current iOS hardware still, eight months post release are basking atop computation, graphic and JavaScript benchmarks. Apple blew some minds last fall. Some records this spring. And paved the way for a HELL of a Mobile future. As well, they're 'friendly' with nVidia. I've got their discreet 6 & 750 GPUs in my Mac laptops. Again, another 'graphical' home run. I've owned computers for 30 years. Retina displays and the speed of storage, combined with the speed, Apple's making it awfully hard to 'knock' when it comes down to 'graphics'. After all, one of the only OEMs dropping the incredible Iris Pro iGPUs in their rigs. I've got one in my laptop aside that nVidia. Not sure why Apple wouldn't consider the K1 IF the thermals and efficiency were within parameters that met their energy goals. Hmmmm

As much as I think that across-the-board Touch ID is definitely gonna come, it's in no way a 'legitimate' reason for me to change my iPad Mini Retina. It's mighty useful on an iPhone, but I find myself using my 2 iPads differently, with different security needs. If you take into account that the current iPads already boast mighty power and specs, it'll take a bit for me to change my mini this year. Which is ok since Apple likely aims at a 2 year cycle rather than ever upgrading customers (many of whom can be find on this site, but we're a small part).

The iPad Mini retina was a major upgrage with a world of difference in tech specs (from iPad 2 to iPad air) and a much awaited retina display, all in a tiny sized case and the same battery life. Lets see what really awaits us.

Agree 100%. My iPad doesn't have near the items on it as my iPhone that need the extra security. I don't even use a pin on my iPad, but I use a pin and fingerprint to unlock on my iPhone.

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Agreed. Man, if they add user profiles (which I doubt) that would be sweet with TouchID. Love to give my 3 year old his own space on my device instead of his own iPad 2. He knows enough now to be dangerous.

that is all about market strategy. they could of done it in the ipad air but didn't. why? because apple always have something to bring up so people will buy the next gadget. i see already Jonathan ive on stage and showing the ipad air with touch ID.
same with quick reply that will be the big thing in ios 8. tired of all this and only bought an iphone 5s because its small and fits in my pocket. waiting now for the ipad air with touch ID because thats why i didnt buy the ipad air now.

My understanding is that every single sensor Apple could produce last year went to the iPhone 5s and there simply wasn't capacity to get it into the iPad as well.

Retina display was similar in the early days. (Apple could barely get it into the iPad mini 2 in time for the launch, such as it was.)

I want everything now as well, but making it a reality is extremely tough.

I see them release the iPad Air/Mini Retina with TouchID this autumn and the Mini Retina with better colour gamut. I wanted to get the Mini 2 stay with the iPad Mini 1 because it is just the right size for me and why I chose it in the first place over the full-size iPad. I am curious how TouchID will be implemented, hopefully we will have to register our prints again, this will keep it secure as the current implementation. For this I don't mind giving up my time to do this for security.

I would hope Touch ID would/could be linked to my Apple ID and if my finger print is registered to the device my profile comes up. Like wise my other family members profile would come up when they use the same device. Just seems like that is ware they are going to me.

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That's the dream. The fingerprint would have to stay local, just like it does now, but the yes/no token to authorize the iCloud profile.

As a developer I get the current architecture. Seems like they could replicate the fingerprint securely on iCloud like my 1Password rides on Dropbox. Yes securely is relative.

User profile is what I'd like but I'd settle for a lock down mode where IT could lock down available apps, same as a parent could lock down kids (sandbox are). Kindle has something like that I think.

I might jump off the gun here. Rather than Touch Id which isn't ground-breaking technology, I would want them to either setup a virtualized application infrastructure or tie-up with Citrix . I will explain myself here -

These days, application(s) is the fad and everyone just wants more and more apps(even though most of the downloaded apps aren't being used) , or like to keep songs/movie on their iPhone/iPad. What Apple can do is.. Along with the ability to download the apps/songs/movies on their devices locally, they should push a certain profile(kind of a desktop) on user's device which will have user's data. So, once user launches his/her customized profile, he would be presented with a certain set of apps etc which he/she would like to use. And all of this would be virtualized, this entire thing is called "application/desktop streaming"

I know that most of the companies have BYOD and user just need to put a Citrix Receiver and they are all set but I am talking about the Apple apps and movie/songs downloaded from iTunes.

As of now Citrix does this, but if Apple brings this to their system, I am sure THIS would again put them leap years forward against their competitors

I don't need Touch ID on my iPad. I had dissappointment earlier, but there would be no point of the Smart Cover if Touch ID would make your finger there after taking out the lock screen.

I don't care if they put it in. Not something I would I would upgrade over about.

Agreed, they make a killing over that Smart Cover, to give it up???, don't know about that.

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"There's a story going around that Touch ID sensors are being manufactured in anticipation for the iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. So what does that mean?"

Nothing. Of coyrse the sensors are being manufactured in anticipation for upcoming releases. Of course. I mean, come on...

I want to see it on the iMac, MBA and MBP as well. The option to use a touch id as the quick threshold for allowing Keychain stored passwords to be used would greatly enhance security on all the platforms. While finger prints are not foolproof, they are better than incessantly typing or just allowing Keychain to unleash all my secrets no matter who is using my device.

Not sure how much it would jack up the price of the Magic Mouse or wireless keyboard, but I think it would be great to have an option for those to be fitted with some sort of touch ID.

With things like the recent Target breach and Symantec tossing in the towel on stopping viruses it seems the market is aching for someone to provide a secure ecosystem. Keychain appears to to be Apple's backend solution to keep all passwords sync'd and available. Providing Touch ID on all their devices would to be the next logical step to unification.

The day I can do more from my Magic Mouse will be the day. When I can have TouchID in that bad boy, I'll be happy. Then, there's no need to implement any extra hardware onto a MacBook or a desktop. Just Magic Mouse it.

Or, if the iPhone 6 is bendable, then there's my new Magic Mouse, right Apple?

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