It’s not new for Apple to put out newer technologies in a few generations to wait and see the rest of the market experiment and get the wrong things, and then come in at a later date with a solution to these problems.
Next time it will probably be the fingerprint scanner on the screen. The first phone that had the technology was the Vivo X20 Plus UD which was unveiled in early 2018, and by the end of 2021 I think we will see Apple include the technology in the iPhone 13.
The nearly four-year stretch has seen a number of fingerprint scanner technology implementations on the screen, and now the iPhone̵
The Samsung Galaxy S21 series has both strengths and weaknesses, but it undeniably provides the best on-screen fingerprint sensor we have seen on a Samsung phone to date.
In my opinion, this is the best on-screen fingerprint scanner I have used on any smartphone. A number of manufacturers, including OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi and many more, have fiddled with the technology, and some often included better-implemented technology than Samsung to date.
Samsung has made great strides in 2021 which makes this a far better option. Well, Qualcomm technically had a big hand in the newer technology, but Samsung’s new phones are the first time we’ve seen it available on a smartphone.
I have never come across a fingerprint scanner on the screen that meant I would stop using that phone, but until now the technology has always been noticeably weaker than physical fingerprint scanners.
We got used to capacitive sensors on the lower half of our smartphones over the last decade, and switching to screen technology has not been without bumps in the road.
So why do I think this is the right time for Apple to jump in and bring the first Touch ID fingerprint scanner you find embedded below the screen?
Samsung’s latest series of phones has a 70% larger sensor than the one we saw in 2020’s Galaxy S20, and it’s especially easier to use. This means you do not have to be so specific with your finger, as much more of the lower half of the phone’s screen has a scanner underneath.
It is a relatively small adjustment, but it makes the technology far more usable than we have experienced before. It’s also faster, which means you do not want to wait for the phone to unlock as we’ve had with some previous iterations.
A bad year for Face ID
I’m sure Apple has been considering having fingerprint scanners on display for a while, but the Covid-19 pandemic may also have exacerbated the need to go back to a fingerprint sensor.
For the past 12 months, Face ID – Apple’s success story of a switch from fingerprint scanners to face recognition software built into the selfie camera – has begun to struggle as we put on face masks and hide our identities from our phones in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19.
A new report this week has suggested that Apple is keeping an eye on Touch ID to go under the screen for the first time in whatever it calls its next smartphone series, and while I would have preferred Apple to include this technology in its iPhone 12 series in 2020 , Galaxy S21 shows that the technology is good enough for the masses now.
I hope when the next iPhone debuts – we expect September 2021, but it may come later in the year – we do not need to wear face masks as often, but introducing a new technology that allows us to use a fingerprint to unlock our phone will give us another option to quickly authenticate our identities along with Face ID.
We may only see one Apple handset with the new technology when it debuts later this year – often Apple will keep its most innovative technology for a model – but I think Samsung’s success is a clear sign of where the iPhone is headed.