Fingerprint sensor off limits to developers says Apple's Schiller

Fingerprint sensor off limits to developers says Apple's Schiller
Now that the long-rumored fingerprint scanner is a reality on the Apple iPhone 5S, developers are going to have fun writing for the feature, right? Uh, guess again. Apple's Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, says that third party code jockeys will not be getting access to the new Touch ID sensor. The technology will be used to unlock your iPhone 5S and to authenticate purchases made from iTunes.

The scanner, which is part of the home button, uses a sensor that is just 170 microns and scans sub-epidermal skin layers with a 500ppi resolution sensor. Unlike the fingerprint scanner on the Motorola ATRIX 4G, which turned out to be a huge failure, users don't need to swipe their fingers along a pad on the iPhone 5S. Instead, they merely touch the home button just like they've done for years.

And while Apple might decide in the future to open up the technology to developers, right now it is off limits to them. Apple CEO Tim Cook was talking about other uses for the fingerprint sensor when he said, "You can probably imagine a lot of [other] uses." Whether we can or can't doesn't matter since for right now, the Touch ID sensor code is closed to the public.

source: AllThingsD

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. stealthd unregistered

I hope they implement some sort of secure API eventually. This kind of makes sense for security, they don't want apps saving and uploading your fingerprints, but there must be some secure way of doing it.

18. Long1

Posts: 399; Member since: May 18, 2013

you may change your pass word if you feel hacked, or for precaution.. But you can not chage your fingerprint. Banking with fingerprint should be forbidden. And I think it will not happen. It will not be possible now, though. Only unlock and iTunes. I woudn't give my fingerprint even to Apple.

27. Daftama

Posts: 641; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

One more way for the government to have everyone one on file finger print everyone possible everyone else will jump on this bandwagon

29. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

i'm sure the NSA clapped to this!

35. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

they say this now until it gets hacked and fingerprints are leaked online and them they say "You're not using it properly".

3. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Well this is a letdown! This thing could have so much potential if developers were allowed to have their way with it.

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31664; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Lotta potential for ID theft too. Locking it down is smart for now.

7. Zero0

Posts: 592; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

But Tim Cook _said_.

15. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Phil Schiller is head of marketing.. I don\'t expect him to know sh*t.

30. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

He knows where his arse is ... that's why not long ago he said .. innovation my arse ...

11. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

If they really want your ID they will take your phone and your finger(s).

14. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

I agree, it could have had much more use. Hopefully they\'ll update it to developers next year. In terms of security, developers don\'t have to have direct access to the fingerprints. If an app requires a fingerprint passcode, Apple software can just send some kind of signal that says \"fingerprint correct\" without the app ever seeing the actual fingerprint.

23. marioellobo

Posts: 44; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

that\'s the purpose of it you can\'t control nobody else but you respect bro.

8. DoctorWho

Posts: 6; Member since: Aug 15, 2008

I understand the awesome things that apps can do with this sort of authentication (if Apple would allow it); but this is a very, very, very good thing for consumers. I don't want some third rate app who is trying to spam me to have a pristine imprint of my fingerprint. kthxbai

9. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Ah...can someone please come up with a toe scanner please! I\'m getting tired of this one.

17. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

so you're just putting your fingerprints on the home button and thats your password that someone can just put some of that detective powder thing to make a copy of your prints and 3D print it or something then they have your key to unlock your phone.. pretty sure your prints will go to FBI database without your knowing lol..

19. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

Would be nice if you could lock down individual apps with your finger print. If you unlock and give your phone to some one to use you still want to keep some things personal.

22. marioellobo

Posts: 44; Member since: Mar 20, 2013

that\'s good for the NSA and then apple freedom man freedom.

26. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Unbelievable! They raised the price in Canada from $699 to $719. I knew they were the greediest company ever but that is a whole new low. Especially since they got a free 1 billion from Samsung.

32. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

It is the opinion of Phonearena moderators that my comment earlier was "trolling." It was passionate, it was angry, but it wasn't trolling. However, I'll be a little nicer this time. Alan, you have no objective source that the fingerprint scanner on the Atrix sucked. Just like any piece of tech, it wasn't perfect, and the Atrix certainly wasn't perfect overall. However, myself and at least two other commenters here agree that the fingerprint scanner actually worked, thus nullifying your use of anecdotal evidence. Therefore, it is in your best interests to modify the article in order to reflect more objective fact.

36. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The fingerprint scanner on the Atrix not only work.... it was one of the most reliable hardware components on the phone itself... I had problems with the digitizer, bluetooth, battery, overheating.... etc but the Fingerprint scanner is still able to unlock my old phone at the first try...

34. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

Biometrics on a $650 phone will never work. The least bit of missing data from your stored meta file will always lead to failed logins. And if apple has your stored prints guess who will also have it and your GPS location also

37. buccob

Posts: 2980; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

There is always a secondary access method to this type of security on phones...

38. alouden unregistered

I don't usually agree with Apple about anything. But I think they are 100% right this time. I would NOT want anyone, not even Apple, having my fingerprints.

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