Probably one of the most fascinating features of the iPhone 5S when it was recently released was the fingerprint sensor aptly called the “Touch ID”.
The Touch ID is a fingerprint reader that can be found on the home button of your iPhone 5S. The scanner can read any finger, be it your index finger or your pinkie, in 360 degrees. This means that the app can learn multiple fingers and does not have to be oriented in a certain way.
Though this feature is optional, with this fingerprint sensor, passwords will be a thing of the past. The Touch ID may substitute the “slide to unlock” feature or the number passcodes that helps you to log on to your phone. This fingerprint sensor will also make shopping easier on the App Store, iTunes, or iBooks, as all you need after all will be your finger. It is all in a touch of a finger. However, a little downside to this app is that it does not yet work with third-party developers. Now, you may only enjoy making purchases with these apps compatible from Apple.
According to Apple, the Touch ID can store up to five fingerprints. The fingerprints are kept in a Secure Enclave in the phone’s processing chip, and according to Apple, this will never be stored on the Apple servers nor the iCloud.
Using the Touch ID may be problematic for those with scarred fingers, though they have the option to use their not so marked ones. Also, it may be a bit tricky for the sweaty ones, the use of a hanky might help. Well, if this does not work, backups such as the “slide to unlock’ and the passcodes are still substitute options.
The Touch ID gives iPhone Users security. This can be a defense from thieves, pickpockets, and would be hackers. With this, one thing is for sure, only I touch my iPhone 5S.
Android also had launched a fancy face unlock feature with the announcement of Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Criticized over the lack of security, Google has improved it a lot over the time. It was very easy to fool the application by putting a photograph of the person how has locked the mobile. However, the latest release of Android Jelly Bean has addressed that problem by adding “Blink” option which is called “Liveness”. Which means once this option is enabled, you need to blink after your face is recognized by the phone. Only after you blink, the phone screen will unlock. Cool heh!!
Gimmicks apart, now the most important question, how secure these features are. Fingerprints, Retina Scans are unique to each individual. What about Face!!! Do you have duplicates, close resemblances!!!
iPhone 5S’s fingerprint sensor does look bit secure given that it uses one of widely accepted bio-metric recognition methods. Though Apple needs to improve it further to enable it’s scanner to do a deep scan. A deep scan will make sure that wet, scared fingers do not affect the result.
Another relevant point – does your company offers a BYOD (Bring your own device) scheme and you intend to configure corporate email on your phone under any such scheme? Most of the companies does not recognize face unlock to be as secure as PIN/password lock. So chances are that face unlock functionality may be disabled by the installed security policy by your company’s network admin once you configure corporate email into your device. What about fingerprint scan then? Let’s wait and watch till it gets launched and we’ll come to know. You may let us know by leaving a comment here if your company’s security policy allows uses of face unlock.