July 29, 2013

Looks like the rumors are true: iOS 7 beta 4 has leaked a new folder called “BiometricKitUI.” Based on the description, sent to us by Hamza Sood,it seems pretty clear that Apple is preparing a new iPhone with a fingerprint sensor.The interface is described above, pointing to a user being able to swipe the sensor on the iPhone’s home button.

The text:


Photo of a person holding an iPhone with their left hand while touching the Home button with their thumb_;

A fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process._

iPhoto of a person holding an iPhone with their right hand while touching the Home button with their thumb_Recognition is

Sood tells us that the above strings are what an iPhone with VoiceOver on would read to a user. According to a source familiar with the development of the new iPhone, the user-interface for the fingerprint scanning system has been complete. This person also says that the technology is focused around unlocking the phone, so it is unclear if it is built for a payment system (as rumored) in the next iPhone. We previously reported that Apple’s iWatch will include some biometric related hardware/software features.

Also coming in the new iPhone, likely to look like the iPhone 5, is an improved camera system, A7 processor, and perhaps some new voice and camera features.

Update: This reference has been removed in the new iOS 7 beta 5 SDK, but smaller hints still remain in the system.

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Three weeks following the previous seed, Apple has released iOS 7 beta 4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch to registered developers. The release follows Apple’s Developer Portal going back online late last week following an 8 day outage. The new seed is available via the over-the-air Software Update function in the iOS Settings app.

The previous beta release brought several user-facing changes (video here), including a sharper system-wide font, interface enhancements to Safari, Calendar, App Store, and Music, as well as improvements to Home screen folder transparency, a functional built-in dictionary tool, and more improvements to Siri’s more realistic voices.

A download link and claims regarding this new beta emerged earlier this morning. As the public release of iOS 7 approaches this fall, it is likely that beta 4 will continue providing interface and stability enhancements.

If you find anything new in this beta, you can let us know at tips@9to5mac.com. We will keep updating this post with a running change log of findings (below):

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