The subtle brilliance of the iPhone finger print scanner

Finger Print Scanner

When I first heard about the fingerprint scanner on the latest iPhone I was a little bit sceptical. Why do we need this when passwords had served us so well? Are Apple looking for the next big thing in the wrong place? What I hadn’t bargained for was how quickly I’d adapt to wanting this feature on all my devices. Here’s why.

More secure

I’ve been using pin codes on my iPhone for a number of years now and got used to the inconvienence because of the added security. But like many before me I picked a pin that was only a four digit code and probably not too hard to crack / guess. Now I have my fingerprints doing the hard work for me I’ve changed from pin to a password. This is considerably more secure gives me a lot of peace of mind. The password is still useful though, for those times you hand your phone to someone else to use.


I love how easy the fingerprint scan process is. Once you’ve programmed in both of your thumbs it becomes part of how you unlock the device. Gone are the swipes and in are the press and wait. This is very natural and I’m sure has gone through extensive user testing to get this part of the experience feeling as good as it does.


Whilst I’ve not done any speed tests I’d say that the fingerprint scan takes about the same amount of time it takes to quickly type in a pin. This second or so feels like the right amount of time and any longer might have felt a little drawn out.


The thing just works. Occasionally it does not register your scan but it doesn’t seem to fail second time around. It’s this level of accuracy that one might expect from Apple but given that this is the first time we’ve seen it implemented properly the finger print scanner is something of a triumph.

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