So earlier today, Apple announced their latest iPad (8th Generation) and iPad Air (4th Generation) and there was one nifty, new feature that Apple has just added to the iPad Air 4.
And that is, a next-generation TouchID on the iPad Air 4 power button. With this, as you turn the iPad Air on, your fingerprint will also be authenticated simultaneously, making unlocking to happen seamlessly in the background.
While adding a fingerprint sensor on the power button is not a new concept (it’s on my HUAWEI MateBook X Pro 2020), it is new for Apple products to have this. While technically TouchID was already on the Home button before and the Home button could wake your iPad, it’s never been placed on the Power button before.
This is great during the COVID-19 pandemic because everyone (well, almost) is wearing a mask and FaceID is more of an annoying than a cool feature. On the iPad, it may not matter much because you’ll most likely be using it at home. I mean, you are probably not going to use your iPad on the supermarket and tap it to pay? It’s still cool to be able to wake your iPad and unlock it at the same time though.
But if you are using an iPhone and like to leave your wallet at home, FaceID is almost totally useless for tapping on your rewards card at the supermarket or as a payment option with Apple Pay. Sure, there are workaround to add your face with the mask on as a second appearance, but I mostly use passcode to bypass these for now on my iPhone 11 Pro Max.
We are all hopeful that the Apple will incorporate the new TouchID sensor on the upcoming iPhone 12 too. But all the rumours have not mentioned the existence of this so maybe we shouldn’t put our hopes up.
Apple also wouldn’t put the new sensor just for the sake of COVID-19. I mean, it’s not going to be here forever, is it? The new TouchID components under the power button would surely add to the manufacturing cost so it’s not really something that Apple might want to do.
But hey, who knows?