Apple Accidentally Exposes New iPhone Upgrade Involving Touch ID

George FreyGetty Images

Apple might be preparing to bring back Touch ID to its iPhones, according to a report from Forbes.

Touch ID was initially introduced in 2013 on Apple’s iPhone 5S and had been a part of every iPhone up until the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in 2017. The fingerprint recognition feature, which allowed users to quickly unlock their devices with a simple touch, was also added to several of the company’s tablets and laptops. Apple eventually removed the feature with the introduction of its iPhone X, which featured a facial recognition feature called Face ID. The company has continued to implement Face ID in its newer devices, including the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

Face ID is also expected to ship on Apple’s 2019 devices later this year, but based on recently filed patents, it seems the company might be looking to reintroduce Touch ID in a radically different way.

According to a report from Patently Apple, Apple was granted a patent for an updated version of Touch ID, which would allow users to unlock their device by touching any part of the display, instead of being limited to a single button or area of the screen.

“Apple has detailed how it will build Touch ID into the display of new iPhones by installing an array of pinhole cameras under the screen,” the report from Forbes explained.

The ability to touch anywhere on the device’s display to unlock and interact with the device will likely set Apple apart from its rivals, as current built-in fingerprint recognition features are limited.

The updated version of Touch ID will likely be featured on Apple’s 2020 iPhone models, Forbes noted. The next-gen feature is not expected to be a replacement for the company’s current Face ID technology but will serve to improve overall user experience and device security.

Users will be able to unlock their devices with either a fingerprint or with their face or they could use “military grade security by combining both in hypersensitive situations.” And while additional security measures could come in handy while making payments via Apple Pay, the company has its sight set on creating something bigger. Apple has already filed plans for its iPhones to possibly replace a user’s passport, which would require dual biometrics.

However, before the company addresses any improvements to its hardware, it will unveil new software updates, including iOS 13, during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. iOS 13 is expected to bring a host of new features to Apple’s iPhones and iPads, including a dark mode and redesigned home screen, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.