Stupid question, why doesn't Apple put TouchID on Macbooks?

AVEGA

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 11, 2016
138
134
Austin TX
I adore Touch ID on my iphone 6S+. It's super fast (basically instant) and makes passwords a breeze.
I would think having TouchID on a Mac Book Pro would be a killer feature since any potential thief could not unlock your computer without your finger print. No more safari passwords and easier iTunes and App store purchases. They could even use the home button feature to give Mac OS some clever gestures at the tap of a single button and Siri too! Are the Mac Books Pros's too thin to have this feature? I can't image it really costing that much to do or being that difficult to place into the laptop. Am I just crazy? Is this a stupid question?
 
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Closingracer

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2010
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Well considering Windows Laptops have a fingerprint sensor on some laptops around the same thickness as the macbook pro's it can be done but it is a matter of does Apple feel like doing it.
 

wlossw

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2012
1,062
952
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I believe touch id relies on the custom made Arm processors (A8, A9) that are in iphones. Macs us intel processors, It would require a different approach then used in the iphone...
 

Brad9893

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2010
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Hiding Under the Genius Bar
Touch ID relies upon Apple's custom A-series processors, most specifically the Secure Enclave located within them. The Secure Enclave is a segregated area within the hardware to encrypt, store, and secure the biometric data from the fingerprint scanner. Intel processors don't have this hardware feature built into them, so Apple would have to find a completely different way to implement it and have it be just as secure. There are probably lots of barriers that prevent them from doing it. Macs not having Touch ID is not a software issue, but a rather a hardware issue, so it may be harder to add.
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
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Oregon
The processor used doesn't determine the ability to use fingerprint identification.
The implementation that Apple uses currently requires a specific function of the processor. I'm sure they could work around it, but right now it requires the A7-A9 processor.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
I adore Touch ID on my iphone 6S+. It's super fast (basically instant) and makes passwords a breeze.
I would think having TouchID on a Mac Book Pro would be a killer feature since any potential thief could not unlock your computer without your finger print. No more safari passwords and easier iTunes and App store purchases. They could even use the home button feature to give Mac OS some clever gestures at the tap of a single button and Siri too! Are the Mac Books Pros's too thin to have this feature? I can't image it really costing that much to do or being that difficult to place into the laptop. Am I just crazy? Is this a stupid question?
TouchID is pretty awesome and it's a great feature on my phone, mainly because typing a long password with extra characters is not always easy on the iPhone keyboard. My laptop has a nice keyboard so this isn't an issue.
 
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Closingracer

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Jul 13, 2010
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I believe touch id relies on the custom made Arm processors (A8, A9) that are in iphones. Macs us intel processors, It would require a different approach then used in the iphone...

Windows had fingerprint identification for a few years and runs on Intel... Same concept but it could be done with Apple if they chose to. Plus your talking about ios not OS X
 
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rshrugged

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2015
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Came across this at MAS -- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/macid/id948478740?mt=8
Write-up on it -- https://www.dailytut.com/apple/how-to-unlock-mac-with-touch-id-on-your-iphone.html

A different one at MAS -- https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/knock-unlock-your-mac-without/id692929970?mt=8

They both are used in conjunction with an iOS device. Not what you wanted but might be useful. The MacId write-up at dailytut claims it's intercept protected (don't know about the other).

.....
As it operates wirelessly you may have some security concerns in mind, whether the person sitting next to you or little far from you can steal the password with some wireless hacking tools. Well, MacID protects your authentication with AES-256 bit encryption that never leaves your mac. It just don’t use the Internet to authenticate and login to your mac every time you use your Touch ID Fingerprint technology on iPhone.
.....
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
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Florida
I personally will not buy another Mac without one. Too many entries per day requiring one and Touch ID is a time saver. If Window can, than Apple can
 

throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
6,212
3,553
Perth, Western Australia
Touch ID relies upon Apple's custom A-series processors, most specifically the Secure Enclave located within them. The Secure Enclave is a segregated area within the hardware to encrypt, store, and secure the biometric data from the fingerprint scanner. Intel processors don't have this hardware feature built into them, so Apple would have to find a completely different way to implement it and have it be just as secure. There are probably lots of barriers that prevent them from doing it. Macs not having Touch ID is not a software issue, but a rather a hardware issue, so it may be harder to add.
Skylake CPUs do have a secure portion of the CPU, so maybe Touch ID on the Mac isn't so far off.
[doublepost=1461952717][/doublepost]
Windows had fingerprint identification for a few years and runs on Intel... Same concept but it could be done with Apple if they chose to. Plus your talking about ios not OS X
Fingerprint ID on Windows kinda sucks though. It's nowhere near as slick or secure as Touch ID.

It's been around 10 years or more, we were getting laptops with fingerprint ID at work in 2007 and prior.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,102
2,095
Oregon
Is Apple on some sort of contract with Intel for Mac books ?
No, but is there any other realistic option? ARM chips are nice for mobile devices like phones and tablets, but they can't really compete(at the moment) with x86 architecture.
 

Spudlicious

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2015
505
321
Bedfordshire, England
Well considering Windows Laptops have a fingerprint sensor on some laptops around the same thickness as the macbook pro's it can be done but it is a matter of does Apple feel like doing it.
Have to say I've had few Windows laptops with fingerprint readers, and the feature has never worked a fraction as well as on iOS devices.
 
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unfrostedpoptar

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2010
173
10
I'd love this but, in addition to the issue listed already, it would have to work with external keyboards/mice/trackpads since a lot of people often use their MacBooks closed with an external monitor/keyboard/mouse/trackpad. If it's like the sensor in the iPhone, then this feature would probably only work with Apple peripherals based on what we learned from the replace-sensor/update-iOS/bricked-phone mess a few weeks ago.

With all of these issues, probably just easiest to use the app that lets you unlock the Mac with your iPhone although I haven't tried it yet.
 

Wowereit

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2016
896
1,363
Germany
You are able to type much faster on a computer than on a phone and your fingers are going to the keyboard anyway, so there isn't the same huge gain in speed.

But who knows, maybe we will see Touch ID on Macs, there is a secure part in Intel's chips and even if Apple would use another implementation you could just add a very small chip to the motherboard.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,379
32,983
Boston
Is Apple on some sort of contract with Intel for Mac books ?
Yes, and if Apple changed over to ARM, then that would have deeper repercussions. While I can see Apple hard coding the TouchID functionality in to their Ax processors, clearly its something they can implement on X86. Perhaps this may be something we'll see in the near future, I have no idea why they hadn't.

Of the Pc laptops that have it, I've not seen too many that had a nice implementation, and the sensor was rather ugly, and out of place, so for aesthetics I'm happy apple hasn't embraced it so far.
 

BenTrovato

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2012
2,888
1,929
Canada
It's part of the roadmap to make OS X closer to iOS. TouchID, lightning port, (maybe) Ax processors, etc. Touch ID is coming to the Mac, it's a just a matter of when it fits. I'm sure they are using the A-series processor as a reason why it can't be done now and I don't know.. I kind of like how Apple has implemented Touch ID that the fingerprints can't be reverse engineered.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,026
11,775
Europe
TouchID is good on a mobile device because typing a long and complicated password on mobile is time consuming and frustrating given the amount of typos likely to occur; but having easy to type short passwords is bad security. So TouchID simplifies this process. Also, I think it was a necessary component of getting ApplePay.

On a Macbook, I can type a long and complicated password very quickly. After that, a password manager (such as Keychain) fills in everything else automatically. Further, I don't think anyone will be paying at the grocery store with their Macbook. I don't see the need for TouchID.

I wouldn't mind it if Apple added it, indeed I would welcome it. I just don't think it would be addressing a long-felt need, like it did on the mobile devices.
 
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