Today in Apple history: Apple acquires the company behind Touch ID

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Touch ID
Touch ID was a massive step forward for Apple.
Photo: Apple

July 28: Today in Apple history: Apple acquires AuthenTec, the company behind Touch ID July 28, 2012: Apple buys biometrics company AuthenTec, acquiring the technology that will power future authentication and secure payments initiatives.

With a price tag of $356 million, the deal gives Apple the right to use AuthenTec hardware, software and patents. In the short term, Apple engineers start working to build Touch ID sensors into the iPhone 5s. Longer-term, AuthenTec’s mobile wallet tech paves the way for Apple Pay.

How to lock down Facebook Messenger with Face ID or Touch ID

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Add Face ID or Touch ID to Facebook Messenger for maximum security.
Take this simple precaution to keep your chats private.
Photo: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

Facebook Messenger’s new App Lock feature lets you add an extra layer of security to the popular chat app. iPhone and iPad users can switch on Face ID or Touch ID so they never need to worry about anybody seeing their messages.

The previously rumored feature, which Facebook rolled out for iOS devices Wednesday, is easy to enable. Plus, you can tweak a setting to make sure App Lock works ideally for you. Here’s all you need to do to turn on Face ID or Touch ID for Facebook Messenger.

Get ready to log into websites with Face ID or Touch ID

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Use Face ID or Touch ID to log into websites with Safari.
Logging in to websites is about to get easier for Apple users.
Screenshot: Apple

WWDC 2020 Safari users soon will be able to securely log into websites using Face ID and Touch ID. The new feature, which Apple is rolling out in iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, should take away one of the most irritating things about using the web — remembering, and then typing in, user names and complicated passwords.

On websites that support the feature, users can opt in to use Apple’s biometric ID systems, making that irritating login dance a thing of the past.

We talk next-gen AirPods and the return of Touch ID, on The CultCast

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CultCast 442: AirPods with health sensors
Can you handle some hot, hot beta action?
Image: The CultCast

This week on The CultCast: The next generation of AirPods might be incoming! We’ll tell you what we know. Plus, Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro are likely coming to iPad, along with Mini LED and Touch ID … under the screen. This could be the new Touch ID tech we’ve been waiting for. And stay tuned to hear how to listen to YouTube music in the background, without paying for YouTube Red. It’s a hot tip, and it’s coming your way.

Our thanks to Netgear for supporting this episode. The Orbi WiFi 6 router gives you ultra-fast speeds and wider coverage throughout your home – it’s the biggest revolution in Wi-Fi ever. Check it out today at Netgear.com/bestwifi.

Next iPad Air could boast Mini LED display and under-glass Touch ID

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iPad Air
New iPad Air could have an all-display screen.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The new iPad Air will boast a Mini LED display and display-based Touch ID instead of Face ID, an Apple leaker claims.

Twitter user @L0vetodream, who has previously correctly shared details about forthcoming Apple devices, said that the iPad will therefore feature a full screen display with no notch. Last year’s iPad Air refresh sported a physical Home button.

Why the 2020 iPhone SE is the perfect iPhone for a rotten time

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Pandemic iPhone: The 2020 iPhone SE seems perfect for the times.
The 2020 iPhone SE seems perfect for the times.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Talk about good timing. Apple unleashed its new budget-priced iPhone SE successor Wednesday, smack in the middle of a worldwide health crisis that’s wreaking havoc on health care, economies and behavioral norms.

With flagship-level specs packed into a familiar design — and priced at just $399 — the 2020 iPhone SE is the perfect iPhone for the current pandemic. It delivers tons of features we can all use during this rotten time, with a price tag that’s totally appropriate.