APPLE could finally bring back fingerprint scanners on the iPhone as soon as this year.
The firm abandoned Touch ID in favour of the mug-scanning Face ID with the iPhone X back in 2017.
Apple’s cheaper iPhone models still have Touch ID – but the flagship series has abandoned it
It meant that Apple could fit bigger screens to the iPhone – by removing the Home button.
But now the wearing of face masks is so widespread, Face ID works less well than used to.
Now Bloomberg reports that Apple is racing to reintroduce Face ID for 2021 models of the iPhone.
The upgrade is only in “testing” at the moment, so it’s not guaranteed.
High-end iPhones use Face ID for phone unlocking, which works less effectively when users are wearing face-masksCredit: Apple
But it could be a major boon to Touch ID fans who sorely miss the ease of tapping their iPhone to unlock it.
Apple still hasn’t entirely scrapped Touch ID, with Macs and some cheaper iPhone models retaining the feature.
But more expensive versions of the iPhone could get a souped-up fingerprint scanner later this year.
Importantly, this new version of Touch ID wouldn’t require a Home button.
Instead it would be built into the screen, hidden below the display.
This means Apple could still fit a giant screen to the iPhone – just like all iPhone X-style handsets to date.
Apple wouldn’t be the first to do this of course: rival firms Samsung and Huawei have both offered in-screen fingerprint scanners for a while now.
The other point to note is that Face ID is unlikely to go away.
When an iPhone owner isn’t wearing a mask, Face ID tends to be quicker for unlocking phones.
The sensors are also useful for various augmented reality and photography features.
Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed that Touch ID is coming back to the iPhone.
And even if the reports are true, Apple could still scrap the feature before this year’s big iPhone launch.
In other news, Apple could be working on new foldable iPhones.
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