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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Thumbs Up!

Thumbs Up!
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Clinically Insane
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Oct 20, 2013, 12:23 AM
 
To TouchID!

Even after close to a month, I'm loving the crap out of it. It isn't a gimmick. It's an objectively superior way to secure your phone.

The implementation is glorious old-school Apple. It just works. I get a false negative maybe 1 times in 100. Maybe less. Whatever the number, it's far below the threshold for annoyance, especially considering...

It's somehow fun to use. I'm not the only person to feel this way. I have no explanation for this phenomenon. IOW, I don't expect the claim of entertainment value to be believable if you haven't used it. I don't really believe it myself.

The only tiny blemish is sometimes you use it and it doesn't get a scan, which is no big deal, except there's no indication you're not waiting for it to finish a scan. The amount of time a scan takes varies, so you have to sorta let it "time out" in your head, and then lift and lower your thumb. Repositioning alone doesn't restart the scan. It's a small flaw in an otherwise perfect bit of consumer tech.

Yet another Apple doesn't do it first, but they're the first to do it right.
     
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Oct 20, 2013, 07:26 AM
 
I believe the phrase you're looking for is childlike sense of wonder. Yeah, it's great to use. Magical even.

Mine always scans-opens in about a half second. If the read is bad, in half a second it shakes the display and says 'try again.'

If you're not getting that speed and consistency of "try again" feedback, make sure your finger is covering not just the reader but the entire silver ring. If you don't cover the whole ring, it'll sit there at "slide to unlock."
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 20, 2013, 03:24 PM
 
I have become the master of unlocking, namely, I've gotten down hitting the home button as the phone comes out of my pocket. That's the only time I get a "misread". If I'm actually looking at it, or my grip has shifted from "pulling out of pocket" to "hold for use" it reads every time.
     
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Oct 21, 2013, 07:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I have become the master of unlocking, namely, I've gotten down hitting the home button as the phone comes out of my pocket. That's the only time I get a "misread". If I'm actually looking at it, or my grip has shifted from "pulling out of pocket" to "hold for use" it reads every time.
Nice RE reference there!



Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:27 PM
 
If you go into the fingerprint settings in system preferences, you can train the Touch ID sensor. If you touch the sensor, the corresponding finger will be briefly highlighted to show that it was recognized. You can see its response improve especially around the edges of your fingers as you expand the recognized area.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:32 PM
 
I can give you one better.

Use multiple slots for your dominant thumb. One with the tip of the thumb (like you'd use normally), one for the part of your thumb closer to the joint.

This way, if you overshoot a little, it still unlocks.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 04:22 PM
 
It does that when you train it as I describe.

You're just wasting a slot.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 04:48 PM
 
A single slot can properly cover an inch and a half of thumb?
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:01 PM
 
yes, it does.

I just tried it after you suggested wasting a slot. My right thumb is now recognized from the tip down almost to the joint, and around the sides, too. Granted, that's only about 4 cm of distance, but I got bored and figured that the chances of actually placing the first joint of my thumb on the sensor by accident are absolutely zero.

In the Touch ID settings (renamed for branding now in 7.0.3), you just keep tapping, moving it by a mm or less every time. If the finger slot doesn't flash, you've moved it too far.

Touch ID does this in regular use, as well. If it has enough of your print to definitely ID the finger, it will add the other portions it hadn't profiled yet to its internal map of the finger.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:03 PM
 
TouchID works really well initially after training, but after a day or two, the "miss" rate approaches 50%; if I retrain, the same story repeats itself. Could my TouchID sensor be faulty? There are other reports of this on Apple Discussion forums.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
yes, it does.

I just tried it after you suggested wasting a slot. My right thumb is now recognized from the tip down almost to the joint, and around the sides, too. Granted, that's only about 4 cm of distance, but I got bored and figured that the chances of actually placing the first joint of my thumb on the sensor by accident are absolutely zero.

In the Touch ID settings (renamed for branding now in 7.0.3), you just keep tapping, moving it by a mm or less every time. If the finger slot doesn't flash, you've moved it too far.

Touch ID does this in regular use, as well. If it has enough of your print to definitely ID the finger, it will add the other portions it hadn't profiled yet to its internal map of the finger.
My experiences do not match yours.

I even wiped my left thumb and reregistered it. It does not cover nearly the same distance. I tried to unlock four times using that stretch of thumb in different positions. I got one unlock, and three fails.

Edit: tried again. Two and two.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
TouchID works really well initially after training, but after a day or two, the "miss" rate approaches 50%; if I retrain, the same story repeats itself. Could my TouchID sensor be faulty? There are other reports of this on Apple Discussion forums.
This is not normal. I have 99% success, if not more.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My experiences do not match yours.

I even wiped my left thumb and reregistered it. It does not cover nearly the same distance. I tried to unlock four times using that stretch of thumb in different positions. I got one unlock, and three fails.
Did you train it in the Settings? did the appropriate slot actually flash when you placed that exact region of your finger on the sensor (it may take a while to do so)?

I am sitting here trying all sorts of stuff, and it is absolutely reliable.

I have had this phone since Saturday, and I can say with absolute certainty that it now recognizes areas of my finger reliably and instantly that it did NOT know a half-hour ago.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:25 PM
 
I think that there may be some differences between sensors.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:28 PM
 
Interesting.

No training. I didn't even know that existed.

I'll wipe my copy and see what happens.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:32 PM
 
You just told me that you could do me one better directly after I suggested training…

And then I explained again exactly how to do the training, and THEN you tell me you didn't know it existed…

Skim reader, eh?


Edit: The training isn't documented because Touch ID learns "on the job" and improves its accuracy by doing the same thing over time, but it works.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:38 PM
 
It gets worse over time for me. How can that be?
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You just told me that you could do me one better directly after I suggested training…

And then I explained again exactly how to do the training, and THEN you tell me you didn't know it existed…

Skim reader, eh?


Edit: The training isn't documented because Touch ID learns "on the job" and improves its accuracy by doing the same thing over time, but it works.
I read it, it just didn't register that was what you were saying.

Unfortunately, I can't get anywhere close to the range you do. I get to a point where it just stops registering. It will recognize from the tip of my thumb to where my thumbnail ends. I ended up going back to two-print method.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Le Flaneur View Post
It gets worse over time for me. How can that be?
It sounds broken.
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I read it, it just didn't register that was what you were saying.

Unfortunately, I can't get anywhere close to the range you do. I get to a point where it just stops registering. It will recognize from the tip of my thumb to where my thumbnail ends. I ended up going back to two-print method.
Expanding the range works fine here. I work my way across the finger in tiny, tiny steps. You do have to wait until it flashes, otherwise it's just not registering the finger. That can take a second or two.
If it never registers, go back a mm or half.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
It sounds broken.
I concur.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 22, 2013, 06:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Expanding the range works fine here. I work my way across the finger in tiny, tiny steps. You do have to wait until it flashes, otherwise it's just not registering the finger. That can take a second or two.
If it never registers, go back a mm or half.
Yup. Exactly what I was doing, but there was a point it wouldn't go past, no matter how infinitesimal my movement.

The training is fun though! Thanks for pointing it out! It's extra fun since I can gamble on which of the two thumbprints it'll take.

It's not really a waste for me. I don't plan on registering anything other than my thumbs. I so rarely use my left thumb I won't even use two slots. If you have two empty slots, you're not wasting yet.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 23, 2013, 02:30 AM
 
Overheard: using a pin code makes me feel like an animal.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 23, 2013, 05:15 PM
 
Finally got the training in a single slot to work. I had to carefully sneak down the side of my thumb, and then I could creep back over.

This could be related to "smoker thumb". The skin on my right thumb has a bit of a callous from using lighters.
     
subego  (op)
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Oct 26, 2013, 02:30 PM
 
After a few days I've gone back to the two print method. A single print for me fails enough to get annoying.
     
   
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