Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

Apple Readying Fix for Issues with Touch ID Fading

Apple is preparing an update that will improve performance of the Touch ID sensor on its iPhone 5s handset, claims AppleInsider. Apple has tapped its AuthenTec team to eliminate "fade", a term coined to describe the increasingly erratic performance of the fingerprint sensor that is experienced by some iPhone 5s owners.
After launching iPhone 5s last fall, Apple has continued to work with the original AuthenTec team to improve its recognition software and will release an update relatively soon, the source confidently reported. However, AppleInsider could not verify whether the update will ship as part of iOS 7.1, which is expected to drop in mid-March.
Issues with Touch ID surfaced shortly after the iPhone 5s was introduced, with owners reporting an increasing number of failed scans shortly after they enter their fingerprints. Deleting and rescanning a fingerprint only temporarily fixes the issue.

touchid.jpg
iPhone 5s owners have devised creative homemade fixes that include scanning the same fingerprint five times and overtraining the sensor for improved accuracy, but these are workarounds that don't address the underlying problem.

Apple introduced Touch ID in the iPhone 5s and promoted the technology in an ad campaign that appeared in The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated and other print newspapers and magazines. Apple obtained the fingerprint scanning technology when it acquired AuthenTec in 2012.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

26 weeks ago

Touch ID is by far the worst mistake apple has made. It has caused more issue than it has solved.


What on earth are you talking about? It's so much of a benefit for me that I click home buttons on none touch id devices and wait for them to unlock.
Rating: 29 Votes
26 weeks ago

Touch ID is by far the worst mistake apple has made. It has caused more issue than it has solved.


And here I am thinking the exact opposite. I won't buy anything else from them unless it has touchid!
Rating: 17 Votes
26 weeks ago
Fade-gate!!! Fade-gate!!! Fade-gate!!! Fade-gate!!! Fade-gate!!! Fade-gate!!! :D
Rating: 10 Votes
26 weeks ago
I always attributed any issue I had with my sweaty or dirty fingers. It's been reliable for me, just not after I go for a run or eat ribs.
Rating: 10 Votes
26 weeks ago
Every month I have to redo my scans. It's like my fingerprints change, lol. Glad there will be a fix.
Rating: 9 Votes
26 weeks ago
Finally.
Rating: 8 Votes
26 weeks ago
Interesting - I wonder how widespread the problem is. If its software related, would seem more people would have problems. Or perhaps I'm one of the few who has a launch day 5S and hasn't experienced "fade".

Glad we've done away with the "----gate" naming though! ;):p:D
Rating: 7 Votes
26 weeks ago
Glad to see a fix is coming. I've had two 5S phones and both of them have had this problem. Just had to go through last night and re-setup my fingerprints.

Very cool feature when it actually works, but it definitely has steered towards not for me for the most part.
Rating: 7 Votes
26 weeks ago
Is more a problem of fingers getting wet: think sweaty or recently washed.
Rating: 6 Votes
26 weeks ago

Apple should have included voice biometrics on their phones - considering Siri is already on there, it would have been a natural progression.


Too much innovation for one iOS upgrade.
Rating: 6 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]