A few years ago I broke down and added a passcode to all my iOS devices. I have simply too many important connections that are accessed all too easily from my phone or iPad. Put in the wrong hands, it would be easy to wreak havoc on my life as well as a variety of customers and companies.
The change was frustrating because it’s not convenient. Instead of immediate access to my phone with a simple swipe to unlock, I had to peck in a four digit passcode to get into my phone. Over time that gave way to adding in a grace period for each unlock. Even with the extra minute that doesn’t require me to execute the rote activity of entering in the security code, I guess I punch in my passcode hundreds upon hundreds of times in a single day. Again, it’s not convenient, and while security experts would say it’s worth it, it doesn’t mean I like it.
Enter Touch ID. I’m no expert in biometric security, but I have used fingerprint scanners over the years and they have all sucked. They were slow or inaccurate, and seemed to miss the need to enhance convenience for the user.
Touch ID does not suck. It is not slow. It is not inaccurate. Touch ID is awesome.
It’s hard to describe how such a seemingly little thing can make an improvement in something you do over and over. You simply tap the home button and leave your finger there. Less than a second later you’re in iOS assuming the scan was read correctly. It’s amazing how well it works. It’s easy to think it simply can’t be that accurate and simply must be error prone… but it’s not.
The whole setup process takes about a minute per finger and you can store up to 5 distinct fingerprints. I did two of the same finger on each hand and then did one of my wife’s thumb. Once it’s set up it’s all done and you’re ready to go. It’s pretty slick.
Even with Touch ID, I find myself struggling with overcoming nearly 6 years of habit to swipe to unlock my iPhone, and then an additional couple of years of wanting to tap in my passcode. It’s funny how these habits we build up are so hard to break, but this is one habit I’m going to enjoy tossing out the door.
It’s clear this is the “right way” for things to be done. I’m already excited at the possibility of Touch ID on my iPad, which is the other device I’m simply tired of entering in my passcode on. Going back to my old iPhone 5 now feels laborious in comparison to using Touch ID as a gateway to the iPhone 5s.
I’m impressed. Touch ID is the solution you didn’t know you needed until it was there. Those are the always the best.