Since its introduction with the iPhone 5S, Apple’s Touch ID finger print sensor has only been used to unlock smartphones and make App Store purchases.
Now at the Apple’s WWDC keynote, the Cupertino company announced it will open up its fingerprint scanning technology to all third-party app developers with iOS 8.
To demonstrate Touch ID’s expanded capabilities, Apple’s Craig Federighi demoed the technology with Mint to login using a fingerprint rather than tapping in the password on the touchscreen keyboard.
To keep everything secure Federighi promised users fingerprint data would always remains stored and completely protected inside your iPhone.
“The fingerprint information is never exposed to third party apps or the entire system for that matter,” Federighi said. “It’s very secure.”
On the same stage Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced it is refreshing its software development kit with the “biggest release since the launch of the App store” itself.
It’s most profound change of all? The ability for third party apps to interact with one another or what Apple calls “Extensibility.”
Applications from the app store thus far have only worked independently from one another. But now with extensibility they can extend and offer services to other apps.
Using a few examples Federighi highlighted Safari could now bring up a Pintrest share sheet or access Microsoft’s Bing translation service all without needing to leave the browser. Apple’s built-in photo app, meanwhile, could extend its editing options to include filters from apps such as VSCO cam and the watercolor painting Waterlogue app.
Beyond inter-app functionality, third-party apps will have widgets that populate more information and features into users’ notification center. In the near future, iPhone owners will be able to see sporting event scores from Sports Center right next their standard weather and stocks widgets.
- For even more about iOS 8 here’s the top 12 features you should know about