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How to use Touch ID finger scanning

Lucy Hattersley | May 20, 2016
The best way to set up Touch ID on an iPhone to get accurate finger scanning instead of having to enter passwords.

That's how to set up Touch ID accurately. Touch ID is also activated for iTunes & App Store, but you can deselect this option in the Touch ID & Passcode settings. We find it handy to be able to download apps without having to enter the Apple Store password each time.

Add five fingers to Touch ID

Once you have set up Touch ID it is best to add multiple fingers. This enables you to access Touch ID using different hands, and when holding or tapping the phone on a surface. You can add up to five fingers using Touch ID, we usually add both thumbs and the index and middle finger on our dominant hand, and index finger on our non-dominant hand.

Here's how to add more fingers to Touch ID:

  1. Tap Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and Add a Fingerprint
  2. Place your finger repeatedly on the Touch ID sensor.
  3. Place the edge of your finger repeatedly on the Touch ID sensor.

Now repeat this process for up to five of your fingers.

How to use Touch ID in apps

Touch ID now works with a range of different apps. You do not scan your finger into the apps again, instead they access the Touch ID system which authorises your finger. There are a few apps that support Touch ID, and most of them do so to enable you to access the app (and its data). Many apps also request a four digit unlock code, which can be different to the main unlock code on your iPhone.

This provides a second layer of support, with your iPhone requiring finger access to unlock and then the app requesting further authorisation to work.

Passcode requirements

On 18 May 2016 Apple secretly released an update for Touch ID, meaning you'll need to enter your passcode if your iPhone hasn't been unlocked for six days or if it hasn't been unlocked through Touch ID in the last eight hours.

You will still need a passcode, if your iPhone has been restarted, not unlocked for the last 48 hours, been locked by the Find My iPhone program, had a new fingerprint added or have had five unsuccessful Touch ID attempts.

This new update means a passcode will have to be used more often. This is done for your security, whilst others believe it's because of Apple's stance on privacy versus the US government, whereby a passcode protects your rights of sharing information, and biometric access doesn't protect you from incrimination.

Can developers scan my fingerprint?

No. Your fingerprint is stored at all times in a separate part of the iPhone processor, known as the Secure Enclave. Apple can't get at your fingerprint, third-party developers cannot get at your fingerprint and as far as we know no hackers have managed to extract a fingerprint from the Secure Enclave (theoretically they shouldn't be able to ever get at your fingerprint). According to Apple - even they cannot get past your passcode (even if the US government hands them a warrant). Your fingerprint is secure.

Source: Macworld 


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