We now have perhaps the strongest evidence yet that Apple is planning to bring back Touch ID, care of allegedly leaked operating system code obtained by 9to5Mac.
The code indicates that Touch ID will return in a new iPhone slated for release this spring, which is expected to be called either the iPhone SE 2 – making it a sequel to Apple’s first budget-friendly iPhone – or the iPhone 9. If true, this means the next iPhone will be the first to mark the return of Apple’s fingerprint-scanning system since Apple’s pivot to facial recognition exclusively in 2018.
Previous rumors about Touch ID’s return have come from credible sources. Renowned industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that an in-display version of Touch ID would be introduced in an iPhone model due in 2021, while a recent Credit Suisse presentation that included information about Apple’s supply chain partners prompted speculation that a notchless iPhone with Touch ID functionality would arrive this year.
The leaked iOS 14 code also contained tidbits about other Apple products. For example, it suggests that an upcoming version of the iPad Pro will feature a triple-camera setup along the lines of that of the iPhone 11 pro – with wide-angle, telephoto, and ultra-wide lenses – as well as a Time-of-Flight sensor that could be used to map spaces in 3D for Augmented Reality applications.
Meanwhile, the code also reportedly suggests that HomeKit Secure Video, a home surveillance service launched with iOS 13, would gain a facial recognition capability with the launch of iOS 14.
All that having been said, even if the leaked iOS 14 code is legitimate, there is still the possibility that some of the features referenced in it will not be realized by the time of the operating system’s launch, which is expected this autumn.