Touch ID not returning to the iPhone

For some time now there have been rumours suggesting that Apple plans to bring Touch ID back to the iPhone. From suggestions of under-display scanners using ultrasonic technology, to a more simple approach by building it into the power button akin to the iPad Air. But now it seems that is no longer the case. At least not for the foreseeable.

In a new tweet today by Apple analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, the rumours seem to have been put to bed. Thanks to the new ability to unlock an iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask in iOS 15.4, it would seem Apple no longer feels an immediate need to bring Touch ID back. Multiple biometrics would of course increase security. But then again Face ID is already way ahead of any fingerprint scanner by a huge order of magnitude. About 20x to be exact.

Federighi explains iOS auto-updates

Whenever Apple releases a major new update to one of its operating systems, tech enthusiasts and Apple fans are usually quick to become early adopters. And for those users, they’re able to force their device to update manually and immediately. But for everyone else, Apple has an optional automatic update feature. But it was noted by one user Mateusz Buda, that there seems to be a significant lag between updates going live and devices automatically applying updates. As reported by MacRumors, Mateusz decided to email Apple’s SVP of software, Craig Federighi to find out why.

Hi Mateusz,

We incrementally rollout new iOS updates by first making them available for those that explicitly seek them out in Settings, and then 1-4 weeks later (after we’ve received feedback on the update) ramp up to rolling out devices with auto-update enabled.

Hope that helps!

– craig

Craig Federighi, via Macrumors.

The AppleTLDR take

While Craig didn’t provide a full explanation for the 1-4 week ramp up, from a server capacity point of view this just makes a ton of sense. If every Apple user (or at least a huge chunk of them) decided to update simultaneously moments after release, it would create a significant strain on Apple’s server capacity. It also means the early adopters who tend to be better equipped to deal with any bugs that sneak through the beta process, are the people to encounter said bugs. Not the less tech savvy.

Apple being sued over the App Store (again)

The Consumer Competition Claims Foundation (CCCF) in Europe is seeking damages against Apple for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Consumers have been overcharged 5 billion euros for their app and in-app purchases and should demand a refund. Apple has reaped this excess profit by abusing its market dominance at the expense of European consumers. 

CCCF

This is just one of a number of similar lawsuits around the world making similar claims. And how Apple responds or more to the point, changes (if at all) remains to be seen. The CCCF assert that Apple taxes users 15/30% via its commission on App sales and is artificially inflating prices.

The CCCF claims that Apple has a monopoly on app distribution. This might be true in specific reference to the iOS ecosystem. But in the context of the wider smartphone market, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Android enjoys over 80% market share in the industry and supports a wide variety of third-party app stores with different commission rates. In that context, it’s hard to argue that Apple is a monopolist. But I suppose it depends on how the lawsuit and the judge presiding over the case chooses to define the context.

Citation

Featured image: Ashish R. Mishra via Unsplash

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