Touch ID isn’t a feature. It’s a solution to a problem that can potentially be solved in a variety of other ways. Including Face ID.
There’s been an incredible amount of noise and speculation over Touch ID on iPhone 8. Apple no doubt knows exactly what it’s doing, but the decision-making process of Apple’s past is finally echoing into media’s present. And that makes it worth thinking about.
Way back in January 2015, I wrote about Apple deleting the physical Home button so the company could minimize the bezels in iPhone 8:
Imagine a future iPhone where the screen goes to the edge on both sides, disappearing not at the curve but as the curve. Imagine an iPhone where the FaceTime camera and earpiece take up almost no space, and the screen reaches almost all the way to the top. And imagine an iPhone where the Home button is replaced by some new technology that can still allow for a physical escape to a known state, that can still scan fingerprints and authenticate, but that also lets the screen reach almost all the way to the bottom.
We got the virtual Home button with iPhone 7, but, according to rumors, embedding Touch ID under the edge-to-edge display of iPhone 8 was more of a challenge.