iPhone 8(+) Does Touch ID not play well with older users?

Farrgazer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
74
14
A while back, I got my mother (59 years old) an iPhone 8+ to replace an older phone that is now unusable even by her basic standards.

While she loves the bigger screen, she has had issues with Touch ID on it. She said that after extended cooking, cleaning or bath sessions - or anything that would expose her hands to some kind of liquid for a while, her fingerprints couldn’t be read by her phone. I’ve witnessed her having these issues firsthand, and even when I had her put the phone on a flat surface and place her thumb on it, the iPhone wouldn’t register it.

During the initial setup process, I registered one of my thumbs as well, and I had no issues unlocking her phone. I taught her how to delete and register new prints, but that was a temporary solution - a couple days later, it’s back to square one.

We took her phone to the Apple store and got it diagnosed, which showed that everything was working as intended.

Is this an isolated case? Or is Touch ID just that sensitive?
 

Breezygirl

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
642
460
A while back, I got my mother (59 years old) an iPhone 8+ to replace an older phone that is now unusable even by her basic standards.

While she loves the bigger screen, she has had issues with Touch ID on it. She said that after extended cooking, cleaning or bath sessions - or anything that would expose her hands to some kind of liquid for a while, her fingerprints couldn’t be read by her phone. I’ve witnessed her having these issues firsthand, and even when I had her put the phone on a flat surface and place her thumb on it, the iPhone wouldn’t register it.

During the initial setup process, I registered one of my thumbs as well, and I had no issues unlocking her phone. I taught her how to delete and register new prints, but that was a temporary solution - a couple days later, it’s back to square one.

We took her phone to the Apple store and got it diagnosed, which showed that everything was working as intended.

Is this an isolated case? Or is Touch ID just that sensitive?
Of course it happens if your fingerprints are exposed to moisture long periods of time. Has nothing to do with age. Happens to me at times as well in those situations, I use my pin then.
 

BugeyeSTI

macrumors 68040
Aug 19, 2017
3,489
2,427
Arizona
My work is hard on my hands and touchid(2nd gen) only works 60% of the time for me. Even registering multiple fingers and multiple scans of the same print both on my iPad and my old 6s. Faceid has been a welcomed change in my instance and now I no longer have those issues.
 

adrianlondon

macrumors 68020
Nov 28, 2013
2,235
2,030
Switzerland
Doesn't work well for me if my thumb is wet or overly dry. It's better since I added a wet thumb and very dry thumb as separate "fingers". My 6S is still working well but when I eventually upgrade FaceID is a feature I'll be happy to get.
 

Diorama

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2017
626
918
My girlfriend always had problems with TouchID. I helped her set it up fresh a couple of times, she never got better than 60% success rate.
 

GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
8,690
12,408
Ah, housewife hands (which anyone can have who does manual labor and washes their hands a lot). I was not able to use Touch ID successfully until iPhone 7 and above and Galaxy S8 and above.

I’d recommend your mom wear nitrile gloves or latex gloves if she’s not sensitive to latex to spare her hands a bit more from her work. A lot of people hate wearing gloves but I find I work faster and more effectively with them on because my hands don’t feel so abused anymore. I’m 52 and my hands look about the same as they did when I was 32 now that I take better care of them. (Ha, wish I could say the same for the rest of me!) :p

But even though I wear gloves for working I still have to wash my hands a lot. Touch ID won’t work if they’re still kind of wet. I need to dry them thoroughly. If your mom is like me she probably doesn’t dry her hands that thoroughly and kind of shakes them dry and considers it done!

Your mom might like the iPhone XR if she can get it when it comes out. The Face ID on the new generation is the same mechanics I think, but with better software and backed by the new fast processor so it worked pretty well for me the brief time I had the XS Max. I’m going to get an XR when they are released.
 

Q-Dog

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2007
603
667
Same thing has happened to me. Perfectly normal. Your skin changes when it gets wet for extended periods.
 

Jordan921

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2010
4,669
1,457
Bay Area
A while back, I got my mother (59 years old) an iPhone 8+ to replace an older phone that is now unusable even by her basic standards.

While she loves the bigger screen, she has had issues with Touch ID on it. She said that after extended cooking, cleaning or bath sessions - or anything that would expose her hands to some kind of liquid for a while, her fingerprints couldn’t be read by her phone. I’ve witnessed her having these issues firsthand, and even when I had her put the phone on a flat surface and place her thumb on it, the iPhone wouldn’t register it.

During the initial setup process, I registered one of my thumbs as well, and I had no issues unlocking her phone. I taught her how to delete and register new prints, but that was a temporary solution - a couple days later, it’s back to square one.

We took her phone to the Apple store and got it diagnosed, which showed that everything was working as intended.

Is this an isolated case? Or is Touch ID just that sensitive?
TouchID is that sensitive. Don’t think it has anything to do with age. Anyone can expose their fingers to water and have wrinkled fingertips and touchID wouldn’t work for them as well.
 

Farrgazer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 25, 2017
74
14
I appreciate everyone’s replies, but I dropped off one key piece of detail.

Even after drying her hands that day, Touch ID doesn’t work. In fact, she has to wait a good few days for it to work again. I also taught her how to remove and register fingerprints, and it would work for a day...and not work the next day.
 

inkahauts

macrumors 6502
Sep 7, 2014
318
150
My mom and her best friend had this issue all the time... they now have iPhone X and Face ID. Zero issues now...
 
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