Another beta of iOS 7 appears, adding yet more features to the huge update for Apple devices, this time with biometric finger-print reading top of the list.
According to code in the latest release of the fourth beta for iOS 7, future iPhone devices will have a thumbprint reader in the home button, presumably to save having to swipe to access the phone, to enter passwords and bypass other obstacles to using the device.
The last update had plenty of tweaks to the look and feel, but as we approach launch, Apple has to test the big ticket items that will help sell next-generation iPhones. While laptops and building systems have had biometrics for many years, the idea of a portable gadget having it is appealing, from a customer experience point of view, but had better be very, very reliable, otherwise complaints will soar and any brand could be damaged by negative feedback.
There is also supposed to be a similar feature in the upcoming iWatch, so it is hard to tell exactly when this concept will go live, and with which devices, given Apple's likely diversification of the iPhone series, with different models on the horizon and various sizes being trialed.
For enterprises, having a firm grip of user access to the device will surely be a good thing, beyond those hackable passwords and the ability to remote wipe. We're also sure that other devices will follow suit. There has been lots of talk about biometrics and Apple acquired AuthenTec this time last year to get a handle on the technology.
That, or a version of it, is likely to power the new system and provide improved security for devices, which are still a massive popular target for criminals. Will it stop them being stolen? Since most smartphones look alike, we wonder if Apple will make the new model more distinctive to ward street snatchers off, but the distinction will likely be lost on hardened criminals, stealing them to order for bigger clients.
So, while your information, digital money and data might be more secure, will it protect your device better? That's to be seen, but hopefully insurance policies will rationalize for devices with better security technology and not be such a rip-off.