Apple is reportedly preparing a free software update to improve Touch ID functionality. The update is said to fix a “fade” issue that some iPhone 5s users have been experiencing, reports AppleInsider. Citing sources familiar with Apple’s development plans, the company is well aware of the issues some users are experiencing with the Touch ID sensors.
Apple acquired AuthenTec, the company behind the technology in Apple’s fingerprint sensor, in 2012 and launched the iPhone 5s with Touch ID fingerprint recognition last fall. Since then, Apple has been working with the original AuthenTec team to improve the recognition software and will release an update soon. It is not clear if the update will ship as part of iOS 7.1, which is expected to drop in mid-March.
Praise for Touch ID was almost universal, with many describing how easy it is to set up and use consistently. However, some users complained that, over time, reliability in fingerprint recognition dropped and that they had to resort to re-programming their fingerprints in the Settings app to fix the issue. Some users would also configure their most used finger multiple times as separate fingers in the hopes that this would make it more likely that the fingerprint would be recognized.
While there are certainly some issues with fingerprint recognition that Apple simply can’t solve, including tissue damage that would render a fingerprint completely unreadable or extremely wet conditions, there are improvements the company can deliver on the software and fingerprint interpretation side to improve Touch ID’s functionality and reliability.
Touch ID so far is exclusive to the iPhone 5s, although it is expected to make its way to future iPhone and iPad models. The sensor can be used for unlocking the device and completing purchases from the iTunes and App Stores but it has been reported that Apple has bigger plans for the sensor.