Multiple iPhones are stacked showing the Touch ID sensor.Source: iMore

What you need to know

  • People seem to really like Touch ID.
  • Rumors have already pointed to its return, but under an iPhone's display.
  • Apple has now been awarded a new patent relating to exactly that.

Rumors of Apple's plan to put a Touch ID sensor under an iPhone's display have been and gone and some people are still very keen on the idea. A new patent might have just given them hope that Apple is on the same wavelength, after Patently Apple dug it up.

We've seen plenty of under-display fingerprint sensors in the Android world but they all suffer the same problem – the area they scan isn't huge, making it difficult to find the sweet spot during use. This Apple patent appears to fix that by making the sensor larger and easier to hit.

Apple points out that there's an extra benefit to making the sensor larger – users won't have to move their fingers far, if at all, to authenticate.

Where a fingerprint sensor is integrated into an electronic device or host device, for example, as noted above, it may be desirable to more quickly perform authentication, particularly while performing another task or an application on the electronic device. In other words, in some instances it may be undesirable to have a user perform an authentication in a separate authentication step, for example switching between tasks to perform the authentication.

The theory is obvious. You could tap a button to log into a service and have your fingerprint automatically scanned at the same time. There's no denying that sounds awesome.

Before anyone gets too excited, remember that this is nothing more than a patent. Patents don't always make products and Apple does like to patent anything and everything its engineers come up with.

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