Just-released beta confirms expected Touch ID and online Apple Pay support
Inside the just-released iOS 8.1 beta for developers are various clues to future Apple products and services, according to developer Hamza Sood. He uncovered settings menus for Apple Pay as well as references to an iPad that includes Touch ID -- both expected additions in forthcoming versions of iOS and iPad models, respectively. A further find of Apple Pay for the iPad appears to offer only online-buying or in-app purchasing support.
Forthcoming iOS 8 upgrade with Touch ID support will be free for current owners
According to a new announcement from AgileBits, makers of the iOS and Mac password management app 1Password, the forthcoming version for iOS 8 will be a free update to existing users. In conjunction with that, and a new report that Russian hackers may -- or may not -- have collected over a billion unique email account credentials, the company has opted to put its iOS version on sale for $10, a cut of $15 from its normal $25 price. The iOS 8 update for 1Password, expected this fall, will add extensions and Touch ID support to the password manager.
Password vault app could work with third-party apps, merchants
AgileBits, makers of the security and password vault 1Password, are among the first to implement and preview an iOS 8 extension and third-party Touch ID support, allowing other app makers to utilize the program's stored passwords outside of the 1Password app itself. Apple announced the concept of iOS extensions at June's Worldwide Developer Conference, which enables one app to use tools or services found in a different app in a secure manner.
May build on iBeacons, Passbook, Touch ID and partners to create truly seamless, secure system
A new report is claiming that Apple is accelerating its plans for a grand "digital wallet" mobile payments system, which could even be ready to debut in the same time frame as the expected "iPhone 6." The company is said to be in talks with Visa to create a partnership agreement that would allow consumers to pay for goods and services using only their iPhone, leveraging the "secure enclave" portion of the A7 chip and Touch ID to create what would be expected to be a seamless mobile payment system.
Part little different from iPhone 5s incarnation
New photos depict what is said to be the Touch ID sensor for iPhone 6. The part is compared with its equivalent for the iPhone 5s, and appears to be little different, except for a change in where screw holes are located. That's presumably needed to accommodate the phone's new proportions, scaled up to fit a 4.7-inch screen.
Name already taken by Kronos punchclock system
The US Patent and Trademark Office has blocked an Apple attempt to trademark the Touch ID technology currently used on the iPhone 5s. The ruling was made in May, but only disclosed this week. In its decision, the USPTO cites "likelihood of confusion" with a previously-registered trademark for "Kronos Touch ID." Both are biometric recognition systems, although Kronos' product is a punchclock technology used in environments like retail stores.
TSMC bulking up production
TSMC will start shipping a new generation of Touch ID sensors for Apple products in July, claims the China Times. Production is expected to jump a colossal 233 percent to 120 million units, presumably because the sensors will also be used in iPads for the first time. On top of this, though, the parts have allegedly been designed for better durability, and will be built at an expanded 8-inch fabrication facility.
Third-party keyboards, Touch ID access coming
On top of public-facing enhancements, Apple has made a variety of developer-side improvements for iOS 8. The new iOS SDK includes over 4,000 APIs, and features like Extensibility, which permit apps to extend services and functions to other apps. Extensions are still sandboxed, but link software using a secure framework.
Pegatron rumored to have 15 percent of iPhone 6 orders
Taiwanese supplier TSMC has delivered the first batch of Touch ID fingerprint sensors for several Apple products, including the iPhone 6, second-generation iPad Air, and third-generation iPad mini, supply chain sources claim. The sensors are reportedly being assembled by TSMC subsidiaries Xintec and Suzhou Crystal Semiconductor. While the rumor is hard to verify, Apple is likely receiving parts in preparation for mass production, since its flagship products -- iPhones and iPads -- are due to refresh in the fall. Reports have also indicated that Apple intends to expand use of Touch ID beyond the iPhone.
Technology so far limited to one iPhone model
Apple appears ready to bring Touch ID fingerprint sensors to the iPad Air and/or iPad mini, code in iOS 7.1's Touch ID framework suggests. Device identifiers tied to Apple's "BiometricKit" now include not just the iPhone -- prefixed with a 1 -- but the iPad lineup, prefixed by a 2. Because the identifiers aren't specific enough, it's not clear whether both the Air and the Mini will make the switch, assuming the code isn't premature.
Touch ID more reliable, but S5 swipe reader able to be used with more merchants
A new video posted to YouTube offers a head-to-head demonstration of the iPhone 5s' "Touch ID" fingerprint-recognition technology and the "swipe-style" fingerprint reader found in Samsung's Galaxy S5, its just-released latest flagship smartphone. Over the course of five minutes, the poster of the video makes clear that Touch ID, first introduced late last year, continues to offer a better overall experience. The clip covers the technical aspects of both companies' approaches.
Available for all iOS 7-compatible devices
After a lengthy development and testing period, Apple has released the finished version of iOS 7.1 to the public. The code makes a number of improvements to iOS 7, for instance enabling CarPlay support in yet-to-be-launched vehicles. Siri will now let users hold down the Home button to decide how long a device should listen, instead of having to wait for the system to decide no one is talking. More naturalistic voices have been supplied for Japanese, British and Australian English, and Mandarin Chinese.
Will reportedly solve 'fade' glitch
Apple is at work on a software update that will fix a "fade" glitch with the iPhone 5s' Touch ID sensor, a source says. The company has reportedly been working with the original AuthenTec team -- which was absorbed into Apple in 2012 -- to smooth out iOS' recognition software. The problem is that while Touch ID appears to be extremely reliable for the first few months after setup, some users have subsequently encountered intermittent failures.
Apple changes and adds to mobile device management programs
Ahead of the release of iOS 7.1, expected in the middle of next month, Apple has proceeded with an overhaul of its existing Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms for educational, enterprise and institutional clients. It launched a new Volume Services web site earlier this month, and has now activated a number of features on that site, kicking off a big push for large-scale iOS deployments.
Switching away from subcontracting could improve production quality
TSMC will start producing fingerprint sensors for the next-generation iPhone in the second quarter, industry sources claim. The supplier will reportedly use a 65nm process at its 12-inch fab, and also bring backend wafer-level chip scale packaging in-house, instead of subcontracting it. In-house packaging is expected to improve production yields; trouble with manufacturing fingerprint sensors is often believed to be the reason the iPhone 5s shipped in such low numbers last September.
Document kept out of public eye until after 5s launch
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published an Apple patent application for the technology inside its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The document is titled Capacitive Sensor Packaging, and was originally submitted on March 15th. Like a number of Apple filings, though, it appears to have been kept secret until after the product associated with the technology launched.
How to train Touch ID to recognize more of your finger
This week in the MacNN Forums, members discuss a variety of topics including tips on how to train Touch ID to recognize more of your finger -- Clinically Insane member "Spheric Harlot" provides this useful advice. One frustrated Fresh-Faced Recruit is trying to figure out a way to easily activate the WiFi hotspot function on an iPhone 5 so that it doesn't have to be "woken up" every time it needs to be used.
Apple iPad 5 set to gain iPhone 5s Touch ID sensor
A photo leak coming out of China confirms that the forthcoming fifth-generation Apple iPad will incorporate the Touch ID fingerprint sensor Home button. Touch ID debuted on the iPhone 5s with reviewers praising its ease of use and reliability. Apple says that the sapphire crystal covered fingerprint sensor built into the iPhone 5s boosts security over the traditional iOS 4-digit code, while it can also be used to authenticate purchases from the iTunes Store, App Store and iBooks Store.
Unauthorised press release stated Samsung acquiring Swedish company
In the wake of Apple’s successful iPhone 5s launch, which included the debut of Touch ID, an apparently false press release has been issued without authority by Cision, a press agency. The press release originally claimed that Samsung had acquired Swedish company Fingerprint Cards AB for $650 million. Cision says that it is currently investigating how the press release came to be published. The release claimed that Fingerprint Cards AB was to become the Samsung Fingerprint Cards Division, with the current CEO Johan Carlström to become the new division president.
Part bears similarity to equivalent iPhone 5s part
An alleged home button connector for the fifth-generation iPad may back rumors that the tablet will get a Touch ID sensor. The part is noted to be redesigned versus the one in the fourth-gen iPad, and in fact share similarities with an equivalent cable in the iPhone 5s. Apple had to redesign the iPhone's connector to accommodate the fingerprint recognition hardware built into the home button.
Flagship specs could be identical
A Chinese site, DoNews, is claiming to have photos of a gold-colored second-generation iPad mini with a Touch ID sensor. The authenticity of the photos is difficult to determine, but it's widely anticipated that Apple will bring the Touch ID technology to other devices as soon as it can, and the iPhone 5s is available in gold, silver, and space gray shades. Despite its luxurious look, gold is believed to be an easier color to produce than the black/space gray tones Apple has used since the iPhone 5.
Hacker group offering unusual reward for breaking iOS authentication
A group in German claims to have successfully worked around Apple's new Touch ID biometric system, albeit using an extremely elaborate system to do so, involving a high-resolution lifted fingerprint and creating a "fake finger" that mimics a real one that has the lifted fingerprint printed onto latex milk or wood glue and then applied -- and of course physical access to the iPhone that utilizes that particular fingerprint. A different hacker group is offering a reward for such a solution, including cash, Bitcoins, liquor and books as a reward.
Jefferies not sure on fingerprint sensor yields
Apple's Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the new iPhone 5s may very well be holding up production of that device enough to keep quarterly sales below expectations. This according to global investment banking firm Jefferies, which released a report this week saying that its own channel checks indicate that Apple suppliers have begun receiving build plan cuts. Jefferies lowered its price target for AAPL from $450 to $425 on that news, as well as concerns about the pricing of the iPhone 5c.
Feature only available on new iPhone 5S
Following a flurry of recent rumors, Apple today confirmed that its new iPhone 5S features biometric security. Known as Touch ID, the system relies on a new home button with an integrated capacitive sensor and a stainless-steel detection ring. Users simply touch the button to unlock the phone, rather than keying in a passcode.