A new version of the Apple’s iOS 7 Beta software was released to app developers on Monday. The software, previewed by Apple back in June, has a radically different design and some new features, including new Siri voices and a control center with easy access to settings menus.
In the coding of the new iOS was found a folder under name “Biometric Kit”, which content references iPhone users pressing their thumbs to their device. The mysterious folder was discovered during developer beta testing for iOS 7.
Just two weeks ago, Apple filed a patent for a fingerprint sensor embedded within the touchscreen display, but the newly discovered description of the interface notes that a user will be able to swipe the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone’s home button.
An unnamed source familiar with the plans told 9to5 Mac that the user interface has been completed and focuses on unlocking the phone.
The feature, Apple hopes, will deter the increasing number of iPhone thefts, also known as “Apple picking” incidents. The new biometric fingerprint scan could give consumers a strong sense of security that might push iPhone sales to a new level. Contact information, photos, and personal data will be more secure with the iPhone sensor versus the keypad code lock that is currently being used.
Actually, many think the next iPhone, which some are calling the iPhone 5S, will have a fingerprint sensor because Apple bought a company called AuthenTec last year for $356 million. AuthenTec made security hardware like fingerprint sensors.
However, if the rumors are true, the latest iPhone will be the first Apple product to feature such a sensor, which could be used for unlocking the homescreen or confirming identity for payment from the App Store or other outlets. Any sensor would likely be embedded into the physical home button, says the Telegraph.
Actually, it is not a new idea. Fingerprint scanners have been used in consumer technology devices before, though not widely and with limited success. In 2011, Motorola released a phone called the Atrix that had a fingerprint sensor that could unlock the device. The Galaxy S3 also had a Face Unlock feature designed to unlock once recognizing its owner’s face.
The latest iPhone is expected to be released in September, though it is still unknown whether it will be known as the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6.
As The SMH reports, in addition to fingerprint scanners in the iPhone 5S, Apple may also introduce a budget model iPhone made out of plastic instead of aluminium and glass.
The current iPhone is made from aluminum and glass, but analysts say Apple needs a cheaper phone, in the $300 range, to compete with low budget phones from Samsung and other manufacturers.
This week an image of retail boxes for the device with “iPhone 5C” written on the side was circulating the web. Also a self-proclaimed Apple leaker Sonny Dickson of Victoria released photos purporting to be the plastic shells of the cheaper iPhone earlier this month.