Haven’t you heard yet? Apple’s announced two new iPhones and everyone’s a bit disappointed. And the one new piece of interesting tech – a fingerprint scanner – is far from meeting its potential.
Like a pair of overbearing parents after hearing that their A-grade offspring has received a B-minus in biology, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C have prompted a hum of polite discontent from consumers and tech journos alike.
‘You used to be such an innovator, Apple. Have those Android kids been bullying you again?’
‘Tim Cook’s leading your class, right? Maybe we should have a word.’
‘I mean, a fingerprint scanner of all things. What were you thinking?’
The iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C
For the most part I’m on the side of mild outrage. The iPhone 5C is far too pricey (£469) to be considered a budget-friendly blower and the iPhone 5S is lacking a killer feature.
I like that the iPhone 5S camera has bigger pixels than before and comes with two LED flash bulbs; these twin innovations should provide for better photos in low light. An improved battery life is also something to be welcomed. But then there’s the fingerprint scanner, which is now built into the iPhone home button…
‘A fingerprint scanner. Really?’
While the iPhone 5S’ fingerprint scanner is irksome, what’s most annoying about this feature is that it’s barely being used by Apple. Although it makes good sense to protect your mobile with a passcode, most iPhone users don’t. The fingerprint scanner might make more people secure their phone, but that type of functionality isn’t exciting me.
Where the fingerprint scanner (its technology is pictured to the right) would have come in handy is making purchases through your mobile. Now, you can apparently use it to buy apps, music and movies from the AppStore, but there’s so much more potential.
Using your iPhone to slyly buy gig tickets from your office desk *cough* or ordering your week’s shopping online *splutter* is something more and more of us are doing. Yet, if some nefarious character gets a-hold of your phone and cracks your passcode, this could leave your bank details at risk.
Fingerprint-lead shopping could be a much more secure way of buying both digital and physical goods online. Plus, it would prove an easy way to stop children over-spending on in-app purchasing – unless they are cunning enough to do this.
Will the iPhone 5S turn your head?
Above all else, this is what perplexes me about Apple’s latest iPhone launch. The Cupertino-based company may well have created an essential new mobile feature and then failed to make the most of its potential. At least, so far.
We’ll see how the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C perform when we get them into our test labs but, for the moment, Apple’s school report is very much reading ‘must do better’.