FP sensor only unlocks phone? Bad move Apple.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spinedoc77, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. spinedoc77 macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    From what I understand the FP sensor only unlocks the phone, lets you buy iTunes items, and I think I read that it lets you buy stuff from the Apple store app. But I read that Apple did not release this as something developers could use in their apps.

    Seems like a big mistake on Apple's part. The FP sensor is great if it's for unlocking the phone, but it just seems like it's losing so much potential if it doesn't replace the entire paradigm of passwords on a cell phone. Typing on that little screen is already a pain in the butt, to be able to just use a FP sensor whenever you have to log in or sign in somewhere would be pretty revolutionary to me. My prediction, some Android phone copies the FP sensor but they implement it much more broadly to include all passwords and sign ins and they look like the heroes.

    I'm not discounting Apple here, I'm just hoping they give this ability to devs soon. But if they didn't announce it today that means they won't do it for a while, and that means devs have not had this ability, that means we won't see apps like this for a long time if Apple even wants this.

    Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting discussion.
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I look at it in a different light. By keeping it an Apple-only feature and locked inside the A7 chip, as they say, its far more secure for the end-user. By allowing other apps to use it, could potentially become a security problem and render the feature useless altogether.
  3. Veinticinco macrumors 6502a


    Feb 25, 2009
    Personally I think they're absolutely right to take a cautious wait and see approach before allowing every Tom Dick & Harry developer access to this protocol. It's a sensible decision.

    By contrast, not incorporating NFC is a stupid insular/purely self-serving decision.
  4. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I foresee dev getting a certain level of access to this.

    They way I see it working is like this. Banking app for example. Your password for that app is also locked in the A7 via Apple only software and it releases that info into the app with a fingerprint. This way your fingerprint is secure and so are all your passwords via Apple only software.

    I'll let the engineers work out the holes in my theory... Lol
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I suspect this is a temporary thing and they could not get fingerprint reading integrated into iOS7 and the new iCloud Keychain app, and Safari, and still get everything else done by launch day.

    Heck, the combination of the fingerprint reader hardware and the iCloud Keychain app hitting at the same time tells me that what you and I want is exactly what is intended, whether or not it is here yet.

    Apple is not so stupid to ignore the greater possibilities here. Authentec, the fingerprint reader maker, certainly knows. This functionality has been on laptops with fingerprint readers for years. I'm sure someone would have brought it up at a meeting. ;)

    Looking forward to iOS7.1 :)
    Concerned it might not hit till iOS8 :(
  6. watchthisspace macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2010
    I too, wouldn't be surprised if in future Apple open up using the FP sensor to Devs. Those Password keeper apps would be easier to use if you can use the FP sensor to unlock them.
  7. thadoggfather macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2007
    Which sounds good on paper, but in practice, I think it's virtually impossible to promise it won't come across any databases at any point (maybe Apple's servers, but I mean any at all??), or possibly be exploited.

    Or have NSA get their grubby paws on it.

    Anything created by man can be un-created. Especially with software code.

    I feel it's naive to think that between iOS 7 harmony of hardware and software and using software to process it, it's a private one-traffic only highway of info from CPU to sensor.

    Seems like they just don't want to come off NSA freaky-ish and put it to rest.

    I dunno maybe I'm off :D

    Also, Phil saying 50% of users don't use passwords on their phones, and then announcing this feature that should blow all 100% of us away, it seemed like a blow before it even took off in its announcement.
  8. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    This feature will eventually work with apps. It's really quite simple:

    1) app asks for authentication
    2) TouchID verifies your fingerprint and then gives the go-ahead to the app

    It's a go/no-go process.

  9. MacAndMic macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2009
    This is Apple's way of entering the banking industry. They will be the payment gateway of many things to come. IMO, Brilliant! Buy APPL Now! ;)
  10. bozzykid macrumors 68020

    Aug 11, 2009
    Apple disabled the iCloud keychain support from iOS 7. It isn't surprising that they didn't enable devs to access authentication from the OS. It seems that they just haven't had time to release all the stuff they wanted for iOS 7 and pushed these things back.
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Agreed. I'm glad Apple isn't allowing others to access this information.
  12. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    I agree. Today we witnessed the birth of reliable, working biometric scanning that will change the way we utilize passwords and mobile payments. It's just the beginning. Apple wouldn't have wasted all that tech just to unlock the phone. There is A TON more to come.
  13. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    The first part of what you said is what I thought. It's a huge change in mobile security, so best to start with controlling it with your own apps. I'm guessing iOS 8 will incorporate some APIs to use. This would especially be awesome for banking.
  14. cclloyd macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2011
    Alpha Centauri A
    Fingerprint reader with screen protector

    Does anyone know if the fingerprint sensor will work through screen protectors like Lifeproof/Otterbox, or does it require direct touch?
  15. mattnotis macrumors regular

    May 9, 2010
    Do you have to use the fingerprint sensor if you don't have a passcode lock on your phone?
  16. zipster macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2011
    Honestly, the fingerprint scanner does not impress me at all.

    First off, the home button is already pretty volatile. Plenty of my friends have to use the on-screen home button from the Accessibility settings because their home buttons have conked out.

    And I get why they only used it to unlock the phone and make App store purchases. With the whole NSA thing going on, people don't want their fingerprints so easily accessible. It's why the stressed that it's not stored in iCloud or on Apple's servers, just encrypted and on the chip of the phone itself.

    I'm probably going to get the 5S (even though I think the 5C is a good phone, just not for the price point), and will probably use the fingerprint scanner once or twice to see how it works, but I never felt entering a passcode was a huge hurdle or issue.
  17. faiz23 macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2010
    Apple granted the coding / database access to the NSA. ;)
  18. zipster macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2011
    I've never seen a screen protector cover the home button in previous generations.
  19. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    This does not matter. Passcode or use your print. On a product that costs this much you want to have it secure.
  20. CAWjr macrumors 6502


    Jan 19, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Your first part makes sense & I can see Apple being hesitant to open up some fingerprint API right away. I bet it will happen eventually, but not until they see how users are using the sensor.

    Your second statement runs completely contradictory to the first. You say that Apple is right to be cautious about a technology that uses your physical touch, but they are self-serving for not incorporating a low-adoption technology that carries more inherent risk than the first?
  21. spinedoc77 thread starter macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2009
    Interesting stuff you all bring up. I still think if the fp sensor only unlocks the phone and deals with itunes/apple store it's a one trick pony. It seems kind of cool instead of using a password, but it's not really that crucial for me, maybe just as a bragging point.

    It just seems like replacing passwords in general is something revolutionary that only a company like Apple, with so many firsts and revolutionary ideas under its belt, could accomplish. I don't see the security issue at all personally if it was released to devs.

    It has not been released to devs though:

    With no foreseeable plans to release this to devs it seems like it's pretty much dead in the water for now, what a shame and a missed opportunity.
  22. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Hopefully when iCloud keychain gets activated, that will resolve having to type in passwords, credit card numbers, billing/shipping addresses, etc .. both in iOS and OS X.

    And interestingly, the headline of the article you link to is a little more optimistic. LOL
    "iPhone Developers Won’t Get Fingerprint-Reader Authentication Option — For Now, Anyway".
    (emphasis mine)
  23. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    There will be an API down the road, there are many more use cases and apple wants to keep it in house for now. This is standard for apple in the tick-rock cycle. Major feature followed by developer API down the road.

    Coded wording from Cook at the end: http://allthingsd.com/20130910/ipho...-reader-authentication-option-for-now-anyway/
  24. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
  25. cclloyd macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2011
    Alpha Centauri A
    It has for the 4/4S, and 5 (excluding nüüd).

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