iOS app developers won’t be getting access to Apple’s Touch ID API anytime soon — at least not yet, according to AllThingsD who spoke with Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller. Touch ID is Apple’s new feature on the iPhone 5s that is a fingerprint scanner embedded in the Home button of the device. Users place their finger on the home button to have it scanned in order to unlock the device or automatically put in a password.
Touch ID looks to be an incredible piece of technology, but without third-party access, users will be limited to unlocking their iPhone and verifying iTunes purchases. The technology has a lot of potential on the iPhone, but Apple isn’t letting iOS app developers play around with it yet. Straight up, Schiller says that developers won’t be getting access to Touch ID, and he declined to comment on whether or not we might see third-party support in the future.
While Schiller provided a straight “no” as to whether or not devs would get access to Touch ID, it seems like the kind of technology that Apple will have to release into the wild at some point with an API. It seems highly unlikely that the company would keep it bottled up forever, although anything is possible. Apple CEO Tim Cook also declined to say whether or not we may see Touch ID come to developers, but said that “you can probably imagine a lot of [other] uses.”
Furthermore, Apple confirmed that fingerprint scans will only be stored locally on the iPhone, and won’t be sent to Apple’s servers. Touch ID undoubtedly brought up a lot of privacy concerns, and whether or not Apple would have access to your fingerprint records, but the company is assuring users that all data used for Touch ID will kept on the device itself.
Apple announced two new iPhones today, one of which is the company’s newest flagship, called the iPhone 5s, while the other is the iPhone 5 replacement, called the iPhone 5c. The 5c comes equipped with a steel-reinforced plastic shell and the same internals as the iPhone 5. It will sell for $99 on contract, while the iPhone 5s will start at $199. Despite the iPhone 5 getting replaced, the iPhone 4s will still be sticking around as a free option for the frugal crowd.