Apple could be readying a patch for the iPhone 5S's fingerprint scanner, amid reports that the security measure becomes less adept at recognising users’ whorls as time wears on.
Sources cited by Apple Insider claim that fresh software is on the way to tackle what it dubs a ‘fade’ issue with the so-called Touch ID scanner, which is based on technology created by Apple-owned biometric tech specialists Authentec and is embedded in the home button.
The glitch apparently results in “intermittent recognition failures that begin to occur months after first configuring one's prints” via the widely praised one-touch, one-step initialisation procedure.
It’s thought by some that improvements to the scanner could arrive with the next major scheduled update, aka iOS 7.1. This is reportedly due along in March, most likely around the middle of the month.
Metal build and colours aside, Touch ID is the key differentiator between the iPhone 5S and the cheaper iPhone 5C, arguably making a quick fix more pressing before the flaw takes the shine off Apple’s premium handset.
News of Touch ID’s problems comes after Samsung opted for a swipe fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy S5 that necessitates that users swipe their finger across the home button. That's in contrast to Apple's ‘press-on’ scanner.
In theory, because a swipe scanner uses a larger surface area, it should be more efficient at recognising owners’ fingers.