When Apple announced the iPhone 5s, one of the key features of the handset was its Touch ID fingerprint sensor. As the sensor could be used to unlock the phone and make purchases on the iTunes App Store, it is understandable that Apple did not want developers accessing the Touch ID sensor. In fact Apple got a lot of flack over the security of Touch. However it seems that despite all those concerns, Samsung has decided to open up its fingerprint scanner on the Galaxy S5 to developers.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 includes a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button, and that hardware will be made available to third-party devs, the company announced today at a developer-focused event during MWC this year. That move is in stark contrast to Apple’s strategy with its own fingerprint sensor tech, which is specifically off-limits to third-party devs. Apple went to great lengths to emphasize just how segmented its fingerprint scanner was from the rest of the hardware, and how isolated (read: protected from hackers) the data that it gathered was. Fingerprint information collected by the iPhone 5s scanner hardware built into Apple’s home button is held on a ‘secure enclave’ within the A7 system-on-a-chip, and communicated to other services only as an encrypted alias that conveys no sensitive data.