5 awesome things you didn’t realize you could do with Apple’s Touch ID

“Like most of Apple’s new technologies and modern conveniences, Touch ID is something you didn’t know you needed until you got it,” John Patrick Pullen writes for TIME Magazine.

“As a fingerprint-authorized security sensor embedded in your iPhone 5S-or-newer handset (and on the newest iPads), this innovation lets you securely unlock your phone with a simple touch and make wallet-less purchases using the company’s Apple Pay service,” Pullen writes. “But that’s only where this technology begins.”

Here are five more ways you can use Touch ID to lock down your digital life:
• Authenticate Your Apps
• Unlock Your Computer
• Secure Your Phone Records
• Protect Your Personal Journal
• Sign Sensitive Documents

Read more in the full article here.

Related articls:
Google scrapped Nexus 6 fingerprint sensor in failed bid to catch up with Apple’s Touch ID – December 10, 2014

36 Comments

    1. I had problems with it too until I rescanned my fingerprints. Perhaps you ought to rescan too. My suggestion…take your time with the scan, making sure you have complete fingerprint coverage. Since the rescan, touch ID works for me without issue.

  1. Interesting how the first commentators are usually those who say they have problems. Wonder WHY?

    Or do they REALLY have a problem or simply are – you know – Apple Haters who take every opportunity to attack Apple.

    My wife and I have NEVER had any problems with the touch ID – worked perfectly from the very first time and still does.

    1. Then start by registering your name on the site. Come out of the closet.

      I do not hate Apple, but am far from a fanboi. Some of us expect things to work as advertised and have seen Apple ship stuff that was not yet ready for market.

      1. Actually, my name is what it says: Chris Rose.

        Posters like you always ring the bell when you write what you write “expect to work and not yet ready for market”.

        Touch ID has – and does – work perfectly for both me and my wife and has since the 5 and now the 6 and 6+.

        For some reason all our Apple products all works as advertised.

        Wonder why that is and why they don’t work for you and your pals.

        Me thinks you’re an Android fanboy in disguise.

        1. Agree, my 5s has worked since day one. The only time I have difficulty is when my thumb is wet from rain (I never thought until now about doing an impression when wet…hmmmm)

        2. I get electronically fingerprinted at work regularly and I know that I have terrible fingerprints (4’s and 5’s on a scale from 1 to 5). I struggle with the Touch ID, but then I expect to have that problem. Still, it works the first time 3 out of 4 times, so I’m not complaining. Perhaps those complaining have bad fingerprints and just don’t know it.

      2. I’d like to register, I’ve been posting here since MacWeek went dark. But I can’t seem to figure out how to register a name with spaces.
        Can that be done?

      3. Is your name really Darwin Evolved? And, no my name isn’t Philbaby (though I have been called that) but then I’m not asking anyone to state their actual name. Unlike you.

    2. Yes, I’ve really had a problem. I’ve used macs for over 20 years and got an original iPhone in 2007, have a 5s now…. I think part of my problem is the climate. The dry air affects my fingers and there are different stages of dryness and I think this affects the touch id setup and then later sensing. Have a nice day.

      1. I’ve had troubles, too. Found a trick though: after setting it up initially I then spent some time and added more fingerprint samples. That made it work really well. Then, either the cold weather or 8.X made it work not so good.

        Status now is it does not work so good on the latest iOS and an 5S.

    3. Mine works fine.
      Sometimes I have to clean the touch sensor etc. or my fingers are kinda wet and it won’t read. But it works for me.

      My mom on the other hand… Hers will work for a day, and nothing we do will get it to work again. Until we delete and redo her thumbs.

      This last time I put MY thumb in as a 3rd print. When she couldn’t unlock her iPhone.. I tried. Nada.

    4. Well there is a problem…if you have dry skin. My hands dry out continuously using certain materials in the workshop, so Touchid is spotty. As soon as I use a cleansing cream…it works 100% and continues until I go to work…I know, I know…I should be wearing gloves.
      I guess dryness increases the tendency to obliterate fine fingerprint detail. I would encourage anybody suffering with inconsistency to try some none oily lotion, I think you will be surprised.

      1. The issue for you — and some others — is that TouchID uses more than *just* your fingerprint. It is not 100% dependent on the ridges on your finger. You could not take a block of metal and *precisely* carve your fingerprint onto it (with the shape/dimensions your finger is in when it is pressed onto the TouchID sensor) and have it work. All the ridges, whorls, cuts, etc. would be *exactly* the same, but it would not work.

        Why? Because the senor reads very limited biometrics too. This is why all the consistent hacks are with fake fingerprint films laid over the hacker’s finger. The sensor needs to see that electrostatic feedback in order to properly activate.

        If you try to activate the TouchID and your hands are (skin is) excessively dry (or excessively wet) then TouchID may not operate as intended. As you mentioned, a bit of moisturizer (or in the case of wet hands, wiping them off just a bit) will likely restore full functionality.

        Remember, no biometric system is 100% perfect. It likely never will be. BUT, when operated in a manner similar to that which TouchID was designed it operates pretty damn well.

        1. I would add temp as well.

          Most issues I have with mine, when my fingers are either cold or slightly wet.
          Dry seems to work fine for me.

          “Remember, no biometric system is 100% perfect. ”
          Yep.
          Most of the Touch ID users, have no problems.
          But it would wrong to say that *anyone* claiming to have a problem is wrong/lying. It’s not perfect, and it won’t be perfect for everyone.

    5. Works great for me too – I’m “lucky” enough to have a f*cked up thumb print from a huge slice with a razor blade as a kid (accident, not what you think tools) 🙂
      I reckon that nice big line down the center makes it easier to distinguish my print. Or I’m full of it. Either way, it works.

  2. Touch ID works fine for me.. is it always the first try, sometimes yes, sometimes no. This tech I don’t think will ever be perfect, but if your having constant problems, see if there is something wrong with your device before the warranty expires.. or gasp….. you didn’t do a great job of scanning your finger during setup…

  3. TouchID works fine on my iPhone 5S. When I initially got it over a year ago, I had to re-register my fingerprints a couple of times, but that was more because I had to get the angle I use them at correct.

    What I found is that the angle I used when registering TouchID was somewhat different from how I actually pick up and use TouchID. Also, don’t press and hold on the TouchID when registering, tap multiple times as it is reading your fingerprint for more responsive use.

  4. Maybe some TouchID users need to wash their hands. Have 5S and have never had a problem and I have 4 fingers registered and use each different one of them at times. Getting iPhone 6 when contract is up. Started with 3GS. Wet hands sometimes slow the process, but even then, it works.

  5. It’s certainly possible that Touch ID works better under certain conditions than others. Has anyone every compiled a history of when it works best and when it doesn’t. It could also have to do with a person’s skin where moist skin would be better than dry skin. People should test different things to see if it would improve the use of Touch ID. I think there are a lot of variables that could come into play when trying to register fingerprints.

    Apple should do its own exhaustive tests for optimal Touch ID performance and post them for users to see if they’re “touching it wrong.”

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