Touch the home button on the iPhone and it unlocks. No more password. No more slide to unlock. It’s touch and go. But could the high profile technology in Touch ID be simply déjà vu all over again; another Apple Maps fiasco waiting to happen?
What’s Cool Is Hot
First, a little reminder of what happened when Apple introduced the iPhone 5 last year. Google Maps had been kicked out and replaced by Apple’s in-house maps app.
While most users had little trouble adapting to a home grown maps app, Apple Maps wasn’t fully baked and came with plenty of publicly visible mapping errors.
The problem with Maps was the same as it was with Siri the year before. A highly visible (or, in this case, aural) new feature didn’t work as great as the sizzle in the presentation.
Apple’s Maps app was roundly criticized by the tech media, and with good reason. True, Apple has improved Maps and if there’s much difference between Maps and Google Maps it’s difficult for the average iPhone user to know.
Secondly, what about Touch ID? Of all the new features and functions in iPhone 5S, this is the newest, most visible, and most exciting. The home button has been turned into a sapphire fingerprint identity sensor.
Record your finger (or multiple fingers for multiple users), and instead of the Swipe to Unlock, or entering a password to use your phone, simply touch the home button and the phone is unlocked. Instantly.
What’s not to like? Apple gave it additional capability, too. Instead of entering your iTunes account password every time you want to buy an app or download a book, simply touch the iPhone’s home button and it knows you are you.
That’s so cool it’s hot, and it’s typical Apple, a sizzle that plays well in a presentation or demonstration, but the worry is how well it will play in Peoria. When Apple pushes the bar forward by bringing esoteric technology to the masses, it runs the risk of a high profile, highly visible public failure.
That’s what happened with Siri and Apple Maps, though both have improved substantially. The short of it is this– Touch ID had better work, and work well, and work all the time. Otherwise, it’s déjà vu all over again.
And, speaking of déjà vu, the new line of iPhones is typical and traditional Apple. Plenty of visual sizzle coupled with a risky new proposition (Touch ID), and priced as always– higher than the competition.