Archived Post

Accessible Apple 2017-2018: The 12 Requests of Christmas – Day 11

This is the eleventh post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year. This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.

For the eleventh request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:

11. A Touch ID Sensor On The Rear of the iPhone X

When Apple announced-the iPhone X, it also announced that the Touch ID sensor was going away on the new handset along with the Home Button. While the death of the Home Button is one I personally am very sad about, the removal of Touch ID seems to be something that blind and partially sighted users on both the pro and anti-Home Button sides are disappointed about. Many blind and partially sighted users use Touch ID to unlock their devices. Many of these users have expressed concern that while Face ID will technically work for them, the fact that Apple does not require the camera to be looked into in order to unlock the device for those with visual difficulties that make the task impossible, compromises the security of their systems.

What we’d like to see Apple do is to integrate a Touch ID sensor on the back of the phone, near the camera, in much the same way Samsung has done with the Galaxy S8. This would allow users, blind, partially sighted, or sighted alike to use their choice of Face ID or Touch ID.

For more things we’d like Apple to include in upcoming releases, please see:

10 – Remote Audio Amplification, Audio Description, and Captions for iOS

9 – More Reliability When Using Dictation

8 – A Camera Accessory and FaceTime App for the Apple TV

7 – An iPhone SE 2

6 – More Support for Audio Ebooks in iBooks

5 – An Ultra-Simple Router Experience That Uses the Tech We Already Have

4 – A Smarter Way to Order Cabs with Siri

3 – A Fix to a Not So Long-Standing Mail Bug

2 – A Fix to a Long-Standing Mail Bug

1 – Easier Web Browsing with VoiceOver

Accessible Apple articles take a significant amount of volunteer effort to put together. This year, we ask readers to consider making a donation to support the development of an independent living skills training centre for training Canadians who are blind, partially sighted, and deaf blind in independent living skills such as assistive technology, literacy, independent travel, cooking, etc. These skills are essential and training centres help provide them. More information and donation links can be found here.

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!