Optical Touch ID
Joanna Stern did some sleuthing and examined Samsung’s New Galaxy S21. This phone includes an in-screen fingerprint sensor. But more than that, it seems two unnamed former Apple employees have confirmed the company is working on it. Whether we’ll actually see it in the iPhone 13 remains to be seen.
Rumors of this type of Touch ID have circulated for a year or two. But 2020 was when Apple customers started really wishing for the return of Touch ID in some fashion. This is because we’re all wearing masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Face ID doesn’t work with a mask on.
Apple added a Touch ID sensor to the iPad Air 4 inside its power button. But there probably won’t be enough room for that in a smaller iPhone 13 body. The next alternative is under the display.
One employee said that although an optical fingerprint sensor is more reliable than current ultrasonic sensors, Apple wouldn’t add an optical sensor unless it could prove it would be as secure as the current form of Touch ID.