It was rumored that iPhone 5S might have a fingerprint scanner, the smartphone was formally unveiled yesterday and it does have the feature, which Apple calls Touch ID. The company has confirmed that third-party developers won’t get access to Touch ID for now.
The fingerprint scanner on iPhone 5S is used to do two things, unlock the iPhone and makes purchases on iTunes. That’s it. Developers might have had a number of ideas on how to use Touch ID in their own apps. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to do so. Apple Senior VIce President Phil Schiller has confirmed to AllThingsD that third-party apps won’t be able to use the scanner as a means of authentication. He declined to clarify if this restriction will be lifted in the future.
As has been rumored, the fingerprint scanner resides in the home button itself. It is just 170 microns thin and capable of scanning sub-epidermal skin layers through a 500ppi sensor. Basically this allows the user to unlock their iPhone 5S or make purchases on iTunes by simply touching their finger to the home button.When asked if the company would expand its own use of Touch ID, Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t reveal any specifics as to how they might use this technology in the future, but said that “You can probably imagine a lot of [other] uses.”
No pre-order program is being offered for the iPhone 5S. Apple’s latest flagship smartphone will be released in nine markets, including UK, US, China and Japan on September 20th.