KGI: Every new iOS device this year will be equipped with Touch ID, sensors to be more durable

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 10.26.13 PM

KGI research has published a new report that claims Apple will incorporate its Touch ID fingerprint sensor into all new iOS devices launched in 2014. This includes both new iPhone models, and the next versions of the full-size iPad an its ‘mini’ counterpart.

The note also states that Touch ID sensor shipments will increase by 233% this year, which would certainly make sense if the technology was going to be added to so many new devices. According to the report, these new sensors will be made more durable than the current version through the use of tin:

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Apple releases iOS 7.1.1 update with Touch ID, keyboard improvements, bug fixes

iOS-7-1-1-update

Following our report earlier this month that Apple was preparing to deliver a bug fix in an upcoming iOS 7.1.1 update, today the update is going live as an over-the-air update for iOS users. Apple’s release notes say the update includes “improvements, bug fixes and security updates” including enhancements to Touch ID fingerprint recognition and fixes for keyboard responsiveness and Bluetooth keyboards used with VoiceOver:

This update contains improvements, bug fixes and security updates, including:

  • Further improvements to Touch ID fingerprint recognition
  • Fixes a bug that could impact keyboard responsiveness
  • Fixes an issue when using Bluetooth keyboards with VoiceOver enabled
  • For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

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Could Apple buy Square to accelerate its mobile payment plans?

square

Re/code is reporting that both Apple and Google have considered making acquisition offers for payments company Square, with CEO Jack Dorsey said to favor a sale to Apple.

In the last year, both Apple and Google have considered making acquisition offers for Square, according to industry sources familiar with the situation [...]

[Dorsey] believes, sources said, that his company’s design aesthetic and values match up much more closely with Apple than Google …

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Apple explains Touch ID in depth with latest iOS security document

In the latest release of its iOS Security document spotted by TechCrunch, Apple offers a number of details about the function and processes of the Touch ID fingerprint recognition system offered on its iPhone 5s. The document describes the Secure Enclave, “a coprocessor fabricated in the Apple A7 chip,” which manages safely matching active fingerprints read by Touch ID against registered fingerprints saved by the user. While much of how Touch ID behaves was revealed last fall when the iPhone 5s was introduced and through experience, the white page does list more specifics than have previously been made available…

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Tim Cook as good as confirms mobile payment via Touch ID on the way

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When Touch ID was first rumored, there had been much speculation about whether the iPhone 5s would act as an electronic wallet, with payments to retailers authorized by fingerprint. While that hasn’t yet happened, it does now seem clear that it’s on the way.

Asked about mobile payments during yesterday’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook gave what is, in Apple terms, a surprisingly direct response.

The mobile payments area in general is one we’ve been intrigued with. It was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID [...] it’s a big opportunity …  Read more

Apple Stores to soon offer iPhone 5s & 5c screen replacements, other repairs

iPhone 5s Teardown via iFixit

iPhone 5s Teardown via iFixit

Apple is gearing up to soon begin hardware repairs for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in its chain of retail stores, according to sources with knowledge of the upcoming initiative. These sources say that Apple Stores will be able to replace several parts of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on-site, meaning that Apple will no-longer need to fully replace iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units with damage or other problems…

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The inner workings of Touch ID: Each fingerprint sensor is paired to a specific A7 chip

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When Apple introduced Touch ID on the new iPhone 5s, the company provided some basic information about the kinds of security used to protect users’ fingerprints and data. A new discovery by iMore reveals that Apple has even more security in place than they discussed with the public.

According to iMore, each individual Touch ID sensor is paired with its corresponding A7 processor. To confirm the pairing theory, iMore switched the Touch ID sensors from two brand new iPhones and attempted to setup each device. Each phone failed to recognize the sensors and returned an error until the sensors were swapped back to their original phones.

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iPhone’s Touch ID metal ring fits in iPad 5 part, but likely isn’t evidence for fingerprint-scanning iPads

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With the announcement of the new iPads approaching later this month, rumors surrounding the new full-sized iPad have centered around a thinner, lighter design, but it’s been unclear if the new tablet will sport the Touch ID fingerprint authentication system from the iPhone 5s. I’ve heard that Apple’s most recent internal next-generation iPad prototypes have lacked Touch ID sensors, so it’s unclear if it will make the cut for this year. There are a few reasons why Touch ID wouldn’t make sense on an iPad this year:

  • Exclusivity to iPhone 5s could help with sales for Apple’s flagship phone. Notice the iPhone 5c doesn’t have it.
  • Supplies for Sapphire Crystal are obviously tight.
  • Touch ID would be better suited for an iPad capable of multiple users; is the OS even ready for that?

On the other hand, bringing Touch ID to the iPad this year would create consistency for Apple’s fall 2013 iOS Device line. Apple’s iPhone 5s internal test units did not gain Touch ID until late into testing, so there isn’t conclusive evidence right now for either direction…

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Video reveals how the Touch ID hack was performed – ‘trivial’ attack that took 30 hours

The German hacker who successfully defeated Touch ID using a fingerprint lifted from the back of an iPhone has posted a video showing exactly how it was done.

While the hacker – who goes by the nickname Starbug – described the attack as “very straightforward and trivial,” he revealed in an email interview with arsTechnica that it required 30 hours of work using a scanner, high-res laserprinter and a printed circuit board etching kit.

It took me nearly 30 hours from unpacking the iPhone to a [bypass] that worked reliably. With better preparation it would have taken approximately half an hour. I spent significantly more time trying to find out information on the technical specification of the sensor than I actually spent bypassing it.

I was very disappointed, as I hoped to hack on it for a week or two. There was no challenge at all; the attack was very straightforward and trivial.

Should 5s owners worry that, now that the technique is known, it could be replicated in 30 mins? The answer is ‘it depends, but probably not’ …  Read more

“Biometrics hacking team” uses photographed fingerprint to get past Touch ID

In a rather nervous video and associated blog post, Chaos Computer Club appears to demonstrate how they can get through Touch ID by taking high-resolution photographs of a fingerprint. Ironically, they claim the hack can be completed with “materials that can be found in almost every household” then go on to say that a 2400 dpi resolution photograph of the fingerprint must be used.

The group claims that Touch ID was only a little bit more difficult to get through compared to other fingerprint sensors, since the iPhone 5s’ scanner is extremely high-resolution. They go on to state that fingerprints should not be used as a secure method of authentication since they are left on so many surfaces and can be picked up very easily.

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