Rumors have been flying all year about the possibility of new iPads getting Touch ID capabilities in the Home button, and a new hidden code that was discovered in the first iOS 8.1 beta keeps the rumor mill churning.
Developer Hamza Sood discovered a line of code in the iOS 8.1 beta that refers to the iPad having Touch ID functionality, with the line of code belonging to Apple Pay, with the ability that iPad users will be able to purchase goods through Apple Pay using the Touch ID Home button.
However, Sood makes it clear that this doesn’t mean the iPad will get NFC functionality, but will merely come with Apple Pay so that users can easily buy stuff through apps.
Apple is expected to release a new iPad later this year, most likely next month along with a new iPad mini. Not a whole lot is known about the new iPads, but there have been a few details that we’ve seen over the last few months.
The iPad Air 2 isn’t expected to get a huge redesign, as the iPad Air was the model to see a major refresh. Apple typically doesn’t overhaul its products’ designs until a couple of generations have passed, so we can expect the iPad Air 2 to keep the same overall look as the iPad Air, except for some small, but impactful changes.
It’s already been rumored a couple times this year that the iPad would get Touch ID fingerprint sensor capabilities. We even saw hints of Touch ID capabilities in the code of iOS 7.1 back in April, and a few days later we heard that one of Apple’s part suppliers were cranking out Touch ID fingerprint sensors in large quantities.
In a few lines of code in iOS 7.1, it’s been discovered that Touch ID just might be headed to iPad sooner or later. Several of the lines of code that serve as the framework for Touch ID are being listed as compatible with both the iPhone and the iPad, which can only mean that Apple is at least testing out Touch ID functionality on the iPad.
Then again, code or no code, it seems likely that Apple will introduce Touch ID to the iPad lineup at some point, especially after how big of a feature it became with the iPhone 5s; it’s certainly one of the best hardware features we’ve seen on an iOS product to date, and Apple will likely capitalize on that fact.
Touch ID was definitely one of the features that users were looking forward to ahead of the iPad Air event back in October, especially after it was introduced on the new iPhone 5s just a month earlier, but Apple sadly did not deliver such a feature.
Technically, we weren’t too surprised about this, as it’s possible that Apple wanted the Touch ID technology to be around for a year or so and see how it did before expanding the feature to other iOS devices. However, it’s still a possibility with the iPad Air 2 that we’ll most likely see later this year into the fall.
One of the biggest reasons that the Touch ID fingerprint sensor is so popular on the iPhone 5s is because of the convenience it offers when unlocking your device and purchasing apps in the iTunes App Store. It’s a lot quicker and easier than entering in your passcode every time, as well as typing in your confusing Apple ID password whenever you want to buy an app.