Apple Opens Touch ID to App Developers

At yesterday’s WWDC Apple unveiled iOS 8: the operating system that will ship with the next generation of iPad and iPhone devices. The announcement corroborated previous speculative reports that Apple’s biometric fingerprint sensor will be featured on all upcoming non-iPod devices for the year, with the opening of Touch ID to app developers.

The ramifications of this move were best illustrated with a demonstration of the banking app Mint.com. Now, instead of opening the app and using a password on the uncomfortable virtual touchscreen keyboard, or the inevitable “Forgot Password” runaround through emails and security questions, a user simply presses a finger to the sapphire sensor, is authenticated and can proceed to bank with post-password security.

This sharing of the sensor is going to be a popular move, with the original Touch ID release on the iPhone 5S receiving criticism for not doing much other than authenticating iTunes purchases and unlocking the lock screen.

With Touch ID now on the table for in-app use, iPhone and iPad early adopters will be that much closer to a password free life come September when fingerprint sensors are expected to further proliferate iLife.

Apple also introduced a Health App and the HealthKit API, putting in the mandatory vital biometrics plug. This was not the iWatch syncing Healthbook App many were hoping for (like Samsung’s recently retooled SAMI), but it does collect vitals related to blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol and blood sugar using other, non-Apple gadgets like Withings’ Blood Pressure Monitor, which was featured in the presentation.