Report: Apple already working on putting a virtual Home button into the iPhone screen

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Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

The idea of replacing the iPhone’s physical Home button with a pure touch one embedded in the display has been around for quite a while now, but a report from the variably reliable DigiTimes claims that Apple is already working on the technology.

Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan’s IC design industry.

The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.

While the report doesn’t specifically reference embedding the home button into the display itself, referring only to ‘a whole plane design,’ this would seem to be what the report hints at … Read more

Apple Store app on iOS updated w/ support for Touch ID & two-step verification

After being updated with support for Apple Watch last month, the Apple Store app on iOS has been updated today with a pair of highly requested features. With today’s update, which bumps the app to version 3.3, users can now use Touch ID to view orders, access EasyPay receipts, and make reservations at retail locations.

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Two UK banks now allowing mobile app login using Touch ID

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Two UK banks–Royal Bank of Scotland and Nat West–are now allowing customers to login to their mobile banking apps using Touch ID, reports the BBC. The updated RBS app is expected to hit today, with the Nat West one following tomorrow.

RBS and NatWest customers must activate the feature with their security information, but would only need to use Apple’s Touch ID thereafter.

The banks–owned by the same parent company–said that use of Touch ID is subject to a number of security safeguards …  Read more

Rumor says Touch ID coming to MacBooks and Magic Mouse/Trackpad for Apple Pay, but there are roadblocks

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When Apple develops a new technology or feature for its hardware, it typically rolls it out on one product then expands it to the rest of the line. For example, Touch ID launched for the iPhone in 2013 and made its way to the iPad with the iPad Air 2 in 2014. For 2015, Touch ID may make its debut on the Mac, according to a rumor from website apple.club.tw. According to the blog, which published legitimate photos of iPad Air 2 Touch ID and A8X chip components last fall, Touch ID will come to Macs this year to enable Apple Pay functionality…

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Apple Pay China expansion reportedly stalled by ChinaUnion, regulators

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We learned last fall that Apple plans to bring Apple Pay to China by partnering with UnionPay. Code found within iOS pointed to Apple preparing its mobile payment service for China while MarketWatch reported Apple was working on a deal with the institution. Several months later, however, MarketWatch now reports that Apple is “struggling with its relationship with UnionPay,” adding that Apple has not yet established an agreement it hoped to reach by March. Read more

KGI: Apple to upgrade Touch ID sensor in next iPhone, expects over a quarter of a billion units in 2015

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KGI is out with a new report today predicting both a large rise in the number of Touch ID sensors shipped this year as well as an improved version of the biometric security reader for the next version of the iPhone. “We raise our 2015F shipments of Touch ID (fingerprint recognition) module by 12.4% to 262mn sets, up 77% YoY.” As for the updated Touch ID sensor, the improved version is believed to offer more reliable reads and better security as Apple continues to push Apple Pay, it’s recently launched mobile payment service: Read more

You can now unlock Google Docs, Slides and Sheets for iOS with Touch ID

Google is on a roll this week with updating its iOS apps. Yesterday we saw Chrome for iPhone and iPad pick up a big update bringing Material Design to the browser and adopting Handoff support with OS X Yosemite. Following Chrome’s release, Google today shared new versions of its Docs, Slides, and Sheets apps for iPhone and iPad taking advantage of another Apple technology: Touch ID.

Beginning with Docs version 1.2.6448, Slides version 1.0.5754, and Sheets version 1.1.7297, iPhone and iPad users can now lock and unlock each app using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner as an alternative to the passcode lock screen. Read more

Touch ID hackers attempt to take things to next level, no need for physical fingerprint

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The hacker who successfully used a fingerprint captured from an iPhone to fool Touch ID now believes it may be possible to perform the same hack without needing access to a physical fingerprint. Speaking at this year’s Chaos Computer Club convention, Jan Krissler – who uses the alias Starbug – demonstrated how a fingerprint can be generated from a series of ordinary photographs of someone’s finger …  Read more

Google Drive for iOS adds Touch ID unlocking, video saving, iPhone 6/Plus support, more

In addition to updating its Maps app with an overhauled design, Google has released a new version of its Drive app for iPhone and iPad users adding support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as some new iOS 8 features.

The Google Drive file storage app can now be secured using Touch ID so users with supported devices (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3) can unlock the app using the fingerprint scanner. The new version of Drive also includes an extension to “open form and save to Drive in other apps” for iOS 8 users, and videos can now be saved from Drive to the Photos app (instructions below). Google says the new version of Drive for iPhone and iPad also includes full iOS 8 compatibility, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

Google Drive 3.3 for iPhone and iPad is available for free on the App Store. Full change log below. Read more