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  • Apple's Touch ID Technology is Reportedly Losing Accuracy Over Time for Some Users


    Along with every one of Appleís iPhone 5s handsets comes a new technology known as Touch ID, which allows the user to verify their identity through the use of their fingerprint. The verification method can be used for both unlocking the device, as well as confirming purchases from the App Store.

    While the new technology is interesting to see in the everyday mobile devices that we use, is it possible that the technology is just too far ahead of it's time?

    According to multiple iPhone 5s users, the accuracy of Apple's Touch ID technology reportedly degrades over time forcing them to constantly have to re-calibrate their fingerprint scanners. Apple's support forums are filled with issues concerning the matter.

    Apple device user Dr. Drang recently made a post about the matter hoping to reach out to those on the Internet experiencing the same issue:

    Iíve been using Touch ID since I got an iPhone 5s in mid-October. Generally speaking, I like it, and I find it faster than the old swipe-and-passcode method, but Iíve felt compelled to reteach it my fingerprints twice already. I know this sounds impossible, but its recognition of my prints seems to decay with time.

    I rescanned my fingers this weekend, and Touch ID has been amazingly fast and accurate since then. Just as it was when I first got the 5s, and just as it was a few weeks later when I rescanned my fingers for the first time. Just before each rescan, though, I was so frustrated with Touch ID I felt like throwing the phone across the room.
    Itís unknown what could be causing the inaccuracy for users, but there are a bunch of possibilities. For example, perhaps there is a bug in the fingerprint recognition software, or perhaps our fingerprints make the reader dirty and make it more difficult for our fingerprints to be recognized. Whatever the cause, it's certain that the feature is causing unnecessary frustration among a number of users.

    If you have an iPhone 5s, are you noticing that the software doesn't always pick up your fingerprint?

    Sources: BGR
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple's Touch ID Technology is Reportedly Losing Accuracy Over Time for Some Users started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. Brandon.amos's Avatar
      Brandon.amos -
      Every once in awhile it won't recognize my prints. But after putting in the password to access my iPhone, and then locking it back, it works again.
    1. MrLingerLonger's Avatar
      MrLingerLonger -
      Yeah I find it hard for it to with a finger covered in cheese cake
    1. Scotty Manley Silberhorn's Avatar
      Scotty Manley Silberhorn -
      Sometimes it won’t even read a finger for me, i have to use the passcode, then if i shut the screen off again it’ll read my finger. Also, I keep having to put my password in for iTunes purchases. I have the password part turned on and every time it says i need to confirm password to use fingerprint to purchase from the store.
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      That's what happens when you buy new tech like this. Always wait man the iPhone 6 will hammer out the problems.
    1. thomas84's Avatar
      thomas84 -
      i have the same problems with mine 5s... its quite sad that we have to scan fingerprints after 7 days again and again
    1. JazJon's Avatar
      JazJon -
      I thought it was just me, noticed it was taking longer than usual to get back in. I too have had to use the pass code to get in on occasion after losing patience.
    1. ttiger's Avatar
      ttiger -
      Me too. Thats annoying.
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Does no one factor in the fact that things can happen to your thumbprint over time? By this i don't mean changing as much as getting wear and tear on different days. Oils often affect it too. And often the orientation you use to open your iphone changes. When I originally had the iphone 5s I expected certain parts of my thumb needing to be read a lot more when scanning (e.g. the bottom or top or certain sides) however now I am more aquainted with using the top portion when I expected to be using the bottom. Which would cause reason to re-add prints. I just wish it would improve over time, I don't think it does and I think anyone who says it does, doesn't actually know if it does from any reliable source. Unless apple says it I think that's just people thinking they would add that feature, I'm assuming they will but 5s wise I think it's too early. But anyway still works great, and adding a freshprint does help because I think orientation has a lot to do with it
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      I like how the article says support forums are FILLED with complaints, but when Apple acknowledges the issue they'll say that it's a "very limited" number.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      I have had the same issue. Sometimes it works and other times i have to touch the sensor multiple times. I would have to agree with Mrteacup..good points there.
    1. Simon's Avatar
      Simon -
      Has happened to me on occasion. Usually when either I have been working and hands get a little dirty or the button itself gets some smudges etc. Normally a little wipe with a tissue or even my shirt gets touch id working fine again.
    1. recognition's Avatar
      recognition -
      I agree with Mrteacup,

      At home the touch Id works perfectly for me, but when I'm at work on a building site, dry, dusty environment, the touch Id works less and less.
      A quick lick of my thumb to moisten the skin and the touch id works again.
      Obviously it's my dry thumb causing the problem for me!

      Solution:
      1, Scan my fingerprint in normal environment.
      2, Scan same fingerprint in dry dusty environment.

      Seems to work for me!

      Also noticed I got a small bit of skin peeling off one of my fingerprints and it would no longer scan. Maybe the touch id is more sensitive then first thought?
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Same problems here. I've noticed, though, that it's always my thumb and I believe it's due to my print constantly changing since I work with my hands a lot. My thumb is constantly scratched, cracked, etc. which eventually heals but it's never going to be a perfect print.
    1. cookbenj's Avatar
      cookbenj -
      Always been fine for me, if anything I slightly misplace my finger and of course it doesn't work... But that's my fault
    1. cyberjunkyfreak's Avatar
      cyberjunkyfreak -
      Keep it simple... I just scan the Butler's fingerprints and then let him deal with it when it don't work.
    1. TwistedSoul's Avatar
      TwistedSoul -
      My first 5s had serious issues with it but now with 2 months on my replacement 32gb it's super fast and never skips a beat. Sometimes when I want to use control center from the home screen I can't because just pressing the home button and releasing unlocks my phone. I find myself using the power button to wake the lock screen more often as sometimes I don't wanna open my phone to use control panel and turn of blue tooth or wi-do etc.

      Mind you I've had my replacement 5s with the same scans for almost 2 months now
    1. Carvensno's Avatar
      Carvensno -
      No issues here Even have the timing down, so when I press the home button, the Touch ID sensor reads my print almost at the same time, my phone open right up in one smooth motion :P
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      Quote Originally Posted by Feanor64 View Post
      That's what happens when you buy new tech like this. Always wait man the iPhone 6 will hammer out the problems.
      The 6 will likely come with more new tech than an s model. You can't wait forever.

      About the OP, though, I certainly haven't noticed any degradation in the ability of my 5s to recognize prints. I also don't know why anyone would want to destroy their phone just because they had to set up the prints a couple times.
    1. PokemonDesigner's Avatar
      PokemonDesigner -
      Alright. Here is how you fix it. You scan your two most important fingers when they are in decent conditions, not terrible with skin peeling or great when you have the healthiest skin ever. And you do it in a decent environment where the moisture on your fingers is decent, not soggy or dry. Then, if it stops working, clean the sensor with a soft cloth to make sure it isn't oily. Also clean your finger on your shirt or jeans. Boom. Your sensor is working like brand new. If it stops working after a few weeks, rescan. It's usually completely unnecessary though.
    1. TwistedSoul's Avatar
      TwistedSoul -
      I have the same speed as well with my left thumb (left and right if you didn't see my previous post.) I scanned them both 2x. Once at work (I work in a machine shop so my hands r greasy.) and once at home with clean hands. For me af least the thing works flawless. Again this is an apple store replacement iPhone 32gb. I took my first one back because of the gyroscope issue.

      ... 32gb 5S