Computerworld: Apple’s iPhone 5s surprisingly faster; Touch ID is a game-changer

“Like countless others on Friday morning, I braved long lines and lack of sleep to be among the first wave of buyers to get the latest iPhone from Apple,” Michael deAgonia writes for Computerworld. “I’ve always loved the minimalist appearance of the iPhone, especially the aluminum-and-glass design of the iPhones 4 and 5: a single button adorning the front, a minimal set of hardware buttons, and the sleek glass face framed by black (or white) trim housed in an aluminum frame with chamfered edges. I thought this was a slick design when it was first unveiled, and it remains so.”

“Though initially unconvinced that Touch ID represented a major technology advance, I’ve already decided this will be a game-changer. In concert with new Activation Lock features in iOS 7 — GPS tracking can’t be deactivated and access to the iPhone is blocked without entering your iCloud username and password, even after a device wipe! — it’s hard to see this as anything but a major win for security. Considering all of the data stored on a smartphone these days, it’s hard to argue about Apple’s decision to implement a new security feature that will be embraced by everyday users and enterprise IT departments alike,” deAgonia writes. “There are already reports that the Touch ID security feature can be defeated, but the hoops someone would have to jump through to hack into the phone — lifting fingerprints, making a fake print using latex — are complicated, if they even work at all. For me, this doesn’t change its usefulness; it’s just a reminder that no security function is 100% foolproof.”

“While I was wrong to initially dismiss the potential for a fingerprint reader, I did and do think that the iPhone 5S’s move to a 64-bit processor (and iOS 7’s ability to work in tandem with the new hardware) is a big deal. It does deliver a performance boost, but most of those improvements will come from software updated to take advantage of it,” deAgonia writes. “I found the iPhone 5S to be surprisingly faster than its predecessor.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Ars Technica: Apple’s Touch ID and 64-bit A7 are deceptively large advances in the iPhone’s evolution – September 24, 2013
Apple iPhone 5s reviews are universally positive, many crown iPhone 5s the best smartphone – September 19, 2013
Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c arrive in stores on Friday, September 20th – September 17, 2013
Engadget reviews Apple iPhone 5c: A breath of fresh air that will be wildly popular this holiday season – September 18, 2013
Apple’s 64-bit iPhone 5s is by far the fastest smartphone in the world – September 18, 2013
Ben Bajarin: Apple’s new iOS 7 will cause consumers to discover their iPhones all over again – September 18, 2013
John Gruber reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘This is what innovation, real innovation, looks like’ – September 18, 2013
AnandTech reviews iPhone 5s: Apple’s 64-bit A7 is seriously impressive – September 18, 2013
TechCrunch reviews Apple iPhone 5s: The best smartphone available – September 18, 2013
Apple’s new iPhone 5S likely to be in exceptionally short supply – September 18, 2013
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘Makes the best smartphone even better’ – September 18, 2013
Mossberg reviews Apple iPhone 5s: ‘The best smartphone on the market’ – September 18, 2013
iPhone 5s pre-orders quickly sell out in China; gold iPhone 5s sells out quickest of all – September 17, 2013
Apple’s new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c arrive in stores on Friday, September 20th – September 17, 2013


  1. are you kidding me? a journalist is “surprised” that the 5s is faster? was he in a cave for the past couple weeks when all the technical reviews came out about the A7 chipset and 64 bit architecture? and touch id was only a gimmick? did he write this piece in crayon when he submitted his homework to the editor?

    go back to second grade and try again.

    1. He didnt say he was surprised, he said that the phone was ‘surprisingly faster’.
      Thats not the same thing at all. Ask an english Prof. for advice on this…
      The phone has been available for 5 days – perhasp he wanted to actually USE one before he wrote a a review.

      1. I don’t know why someone voted down your post at the start, Alain. I suppose it was the moderate, reasonable nature of your statement. The next four people brought up the star rating to the right range.

        ws, I understand that most of the journalists, analysts, and bloggers post tripe. But don’t be too quick on the aggressive attack. This guy seems OK. He even admits his error in underestimating TouchID (a mistake which far too many reputedly technically savvy people shared).

      2. “surprisingly faster’ has the exact subjective meaning of “surprising” him – the writer. Surprisingly faster is not surprising to the A7, but to him. Same meaning. It is still a perception issue. He didn’t figure that it would be that fast, so he wrote it is “surprisingly faster” as it relates to his pre-conceived ideas.

        BTW, the world of non-iPhone users out there do think of this (A7 64 bit, touch id) as gimmick because they have seen this stuff before – in unthought-out hardware. Apple made it WORK and Work exceedingly well. The non-iPhone world along with analyists still do not recognize Apple’s superiority in attention to detail.

    2. Another thing that surprises me is how everyone who reviews the new iPhone fails to mention the better screen on the 5s! Contrast and color saturation have been greatly improved, proven by direct visual comparison personally.

    1. With a set of instructions, a kid could grab a victims fingerprint, take it down to a local library (as of this month!), scan the finger print, work it up in Blender and make a 3-D model of it. Tada! The hard part is working in Blender, or another compatible 3-D rendering application compatible with the 3-D printer. The rest is remarkably straightforward.

      If you don’t think tech savvy kids aren’t going to take this route to break into mummy and duddy’s iPhone 5S…

      3-D model workup and printing is for real at the library where I live.

      I know, one monotonous note from me this week. But this stuff is for realz and is silly to dismiss.

      1. Unproven method.
        All security can be beaten by stealing fingerprints or passcodes or ID – its usually called Social Engineering or some such term.
        Doesnt mean that the new iPhone with fingerprint AND a passcode isnt an advance.

        1. PROVEN method. Please read the source reports about the crack of Touch ID. Done √.

          As for multi-factor authentication, again PROVEN method. NOT foolproof, not perfect by any means. BUT, it is NOT casual to crack it. You have to know what’s inside someone’s head to know their password, if the password is worth using.

          BTW: Tough if you find the message unpleasant. I didn’t invent the problem or the solutions. I only teach what I personally learned over the years. As you can tell, I’m more than a bit bristled at the overt resistance to security certain people have been demonstrating here. So please excuse my being emphatic in the correct direction.

          But I have to appreciate the fact that you spell ‘Derek’ correctly! 😉 What other name has over a dozen different spellings out in the wild?

      2. If you are that paranoid about it, then use a different part of your body, such as your knuckle. No one will be able to easily get a hold of a knuckle print to duplicate.

        1. This is true! I was honestly shocked to find the Japanese kids were successful scanning their nipples this past week! Whoa! So much for the whorls analysis for Touch ID. It is clearly NOT only looking for fingerprint patterns, which means it has NO ‘AI’ or artificial intelligence worth the name. So, why not scan other conveniently convex areas of one’s body indeed! I can think of…. Never mind!

  2. Have any of you noted that all people talk about iPhone’s amazing features or new not so amazing features or what ever features. BUT for android, people (so called ANALyst) only talk about marketshare? (oh, and screen size).

  3. While these glowing reports keep rolling in as the new phones sell out before they can be built and shipped, remember this: when it comes to AAPL and the future of Apple Inc., it doesn’t matter.

    Slowly, slowly even the faithful, blind followers of Tim Cook are coming around. Most of MDN lemmings continue to trash comments like mine and people like me. But, know this: we are being proven right day after day. There are no “great new products in the pipeline” and there is no $700 AAPL, nor $600… we are where we are and it’s not going to change until there is another critically important change accomplished. You know what it is but remain in denial and I’ll just smile at your sophomoric attacks on me. Just one thing: I’m not a troll. Think of something else. That one is worn out. Long ago worn out.

    1. You are in the Apple inner circle and know the upcoming product pipeline for the next few years? Please tell us.

      If you are so sure of your predictions, you really should be putting all your money into APPL short positions.

      One final thing. Your tone makes you sound like a troll. If you don’t like that term, I can think of several others that would likely fit.

    2. I don’t think of you as a troll, I do however think you are a bit of a “halfwit”. But I’m open minded. Tell us a bit about your career and the decisions that led to a leadership role in some respectable enterprise.

    3. How exactly do you know there aren’t “great new products in the pipeline”? What do you know the rest of the world doesn’t? Apple doesn’t care about Wall Street. They care about users. That might sound like a fanboy comment but truth be told if they cared about Wall Street they would do as other companies do an introduce vaporware a year before the product is ready. That is not Apple and never will be. Now go back in your hole.

        1. Something else: Buffoon.

          You have absolutely no idea what Apple has in their “pipeline” other than the general features of the Mac Pro which will ship this fall.

          You spout off on things of which you have absolutely zero knowledge. If you were part of Apple’s inner circle, you wouldn’t be posting crap here. Therefore you’re just making things up.

          It is 100% your opinion that Apple is doomed until there is a huge restructuring in Apple and its management. You have absolutely nothing to support that position other than your own delusions, which you created out of thin air.


        2. I can log out of my account here right now and FAKE YOUR NAME. You are no one and anyone. You cannot, however, fake being me. I never post without being logged in as me, unless of course I’m trying to prove the point above. I’d be glad to do so if you like?

          IOW: Who the hell are you really? For all I know you are one solo troll who trudges around here pretending to be a dozen different nicks. We’ve proven that has been done in the past, specifically by hired Samsung shills. So maybe you’re just another paid Samsung shill. Come clean and be real.

          Sorry folks, but I have no sympathy for being anonymous around here AND being trollish. If you’re both, I’m going to call you an anonymous coward. That’s inevitable.

    4. ‘New’ products come from existing products – Apple has never come out with a completely new unheard of product.
      None of its competitors has either.

      A new thing would be time travel or fusion or invisibility or some such thing.

      What Apple is the best at is taking a product and making it work really well and making it work with all of the other stuff we buy from Apple.

      If you think that there is another Steve Jobs out there, you are delusional.
      Frankly as long as we dont hire an idiot salesman like Bozo Ballmer, we will be fine.D

  4. I’m curious. How do you resell the device if after you wipe the device you need to enter your Apple ID credentials? Is this only required with a remote wipe or also erased from within the iOS device itself? I feel compelled to test this.

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