Apple Opens up Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor to All Apps and Lays Groundwork for Mobile Payments?

by Istvan Fekete on June 3, 2014

Apple had an amazing day yesterday: it told us where the company is heading and dictated the software trend for the next 12 months. It did this by unveiling Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8. And what didn’t get as much of the spotlight as it should have is that Apple has just given the green light for mobile payment apps by opening up Touch ID to all apps.

June 2 was an important day for the Apple community: the annual Worldwide Developers Conference started with the usual Apple keynote. The spotlight was on Craig Federighi, SVP of Software Engineering (alongside CEO Tim Cook, obviously) who presented a handful of iOS 8 features. As a side feature of iOS 8, Touch ID recognition, which became known and beloved with the iPhone 5s, Apple announced that it is ready to lift the current limits of this great feature of quickly unlocking your iPhone and downloading apps from the App Store.

With iOS 8, Apple opened up the Touch ID API, which is already available in beta today, so that developers who want to implement the magic of the biometric sensor into their apps are free to do so. The keynote contained a demo image showing how users can get things done faster with Mint, a popular personal finance app in the US and Canada, simply by using Touch ID.

From a security perspective, it is important to note that the first-generation of Touch ID was hacked within 24 hours of release, so Apple may want to take additional steps to make it more secure, as the fingerprint sensor used with the iPhone 5s has all the usual flaws such sensors can carry.

While this remains an essential question for the future hardware update expected this fall, Federighi highlighted a few advantages of Touch ID: it protects logins and user data, unlocks Keychain items, identifies successful matches, and protects fingerprint data.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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