Apple reportedly not planning to add in-display fingerprint sensor on upcoming iPhones

Apple went all-in on Face ID with the iPhone X last year, excising the company’s long-time Touch ID fingerprint sensor in favor of the new, facial recognition feature. Don’t expect that to change anytime in the future, either, with supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claiming in his latest research note that Apple won’t be adding in-display Touch ID fingerprint sensors to both this year’s or next year’s iPhone models, via 9to5Mac.

According to Kuo, limiting factors in Apple’s decision have to do with the fact that the current crop of sensors have more limited support for OLED screens (which Apple uses in its iPhone X models), along with the sensors only working in a specific location instead of the whole screen. Recent rumors have indicated that Samsung is looking to use in-display technology in its upcoming Galaxy S10 phone, so it’s possible this feature could end up as a substantial differentiator between the two companies’ flagships going forward.

Additionally, there’s the questionable need for a second authentication method when Face ID seems to be working out pretty well for the company so far, although the added layer of a second factor of security would obviously offer better protection, as well as give more choices to consumers.

Apple is expected to announce its new iPhone XS model along with a larger Plus variant and a cheaper LCD model next week on September 12th. All three devices are expected to feature Face ID instead of Touch ID.

New Apple patent hints that Siri could offer multiuser support

Apple has been stubbornly resistant to the idea of adding multiuser support to iOS. But according to the company’s newly granted patent for “User profiling for voice input processing,” it may be implementing that idea with Siri, via AppleInsider. Siri can already distinguish an iPhone owner’s voice from other people, but it has so far been unable to provide customized responses for different users.

The goal of the patent is to allow a device to identify different users, whether that be through a username and password, recognizing specific commands, or biometric voice print. Then the device would be able to respond using a library of past commands to match a specific user’s content preferences, requests, and phrasings to make Siri more accurate.

While the patent is more focused on utilizing user identification to improve accuracy, identifying specific users would have other benefits, too, like solving issues on shared devices like Apple’s HomePod where anyone can ask to have the owner’s text messages or calendar entries read out loud.

Obviously, this is just a patent for now, and a particularly broad one that might just be referring to Apple’s existing personalized “Hey, Siri” support. And since even the possibly expanded functionality isn’t particularly user-facing, it may never be clear if Apple will implement those features on existing or future hardware. But if anyone is holding out for the dream of, say, a multiuser iPad, it’s nice to see that Apple is working on something that’s at least adjacent to that.

Update August 14th, 10:40am: Clarified claims of patent.

A new report claims that the next iPad Pros might shrink and lose their headphone jacks

A new report from Japanese supply chain site Macotakara (via 9to5Mac) suggests that Apple could be refreshing its line of iPad Pro models by shrinking them down a bit, and eliminating the 3.5mm headphone jack, much like recent iPhone models.

The site notes that it’s possible that next year’s lineup could see their dimensions shrink a bit — the 10.5 inch models could be 247.5 mm high, 178.7 mm wide, and 6 mm thick (it’s currently 250.6 mm high, 174.1 mm tall and 6.1 mm thick), while the 12.9 inch models might come in at 280 mm tall, 215 mm wide and 6.4 mm thick (which is currently at 305.7 mm tall, 220.6mm wide, and 6.9 mm thick.)

The report also suggests that the iPad will come with FaceID — something we’ve already seen rumors about since late 2017, and which was seemly confirmed in a recent iOS 12 beta. Macotakara notes that the feature won’t work in landscape mode, and that accordingly, Apple might move the Lightning connector from the bottom to the when the iPad is vertical, and accordingly, the smart connector for the keyboard might be shifted to the bottom, near the Lightning connector, meaning that the tablet might be designed to be used vertically.

The report also hints that there could be some changes coming to the iPhone lineup as well, noting that a rumored 6.1 LCD model will feature a “full active” display with four narrow bezels, and utilizing a “Japan Pixel Eyes” sensor. It’s speculated that the upcoming phone will be a bit cheaper than last year’s iPhone X.

Apple is expected to hold its annual launch event in September, where it unveils the updates to its phones and tablets, and we’ll undoubtably see more rumors and leaks in the run-up to that.