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Touch ID on the iPhone 6s is fast, but not so fast you can’t access the lockscreen (Video)

There have been some reports that Touch ID on the iPhone 6s is now so fast that you can no longer access the lockscreen, as it unlocks as soon as you touch the home button.

This is a slight exaggeration: Touch ID is indeed much faster than older models, but not quite instant, as the above video shows.

You can check out my first impressions of the iPhone 6, and Dom’s rather more sophisticated video comparing the new iPhone with its predecessor.


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  1. PhilBoogie - 8 years ago

    I’ll be forwarding a link to your video as it demonstrates how to speak proper English. Which I ned to learn myself as well. Completely OT that, so as to the topic at hand, those whiners are fingering it wrong.

  2. Ben Palmer (@btpalmer) - 8 years ago

    I have to disagree. If I press the button even for the slightest moment (with my full thumb print on the sensor) it unlocks. It’s extremely quick now. I have to use my thumb nail or the sleep/wake button just to see the home screen now.

    • Ben Palmer (@btpalmer) - 8 years ago

      *lock screen not home screen.

    • george264 - 8 years ago

      It’s so fast and accurate I don’t even need my full print. I wish I was exaggerating because sometimes I want to see notifications on my lock screen. I literally can not get it to not immediately open with my right thumb

  3. aerdon - 8 years ago

    I have to disagree, as well. I’ve tried to reproduce the results of the video and cannot. The only way I can get the screen to come on without unlocking is to use the power button or an unregistered finger.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      I can do it 100% reliably when trying. I do agree it’s very quick, though, so you do need to do it deliberately.

      • Richard Flapper - 8 years ago

        Well, just as aerdon says, when trying to reproduce what you did in the video, my iPhone unlocks 100% of the times. I deliberately have to position the thumb a different to get to the lock screen. And then it just says “try again”. Not that I’m too bothered with it though. I get the notifications on my watch so I only want to unlock the phone. And in that It’s ridiculously fast. I do like it very much!!

  4. atokosch - 8 years ago

    I kinda think the point was missed. Yes just pressing the home button can turn the screen on, but holding it there for probably somewhere between .5 seconds and 1 second (I’m only guessing, it could possible be a couple nano seconds) and it unlocks the phone. Its the same sensor it was just the way Apple built the Secure Element within the A9 chip that allows the sensor to be a lot faster.

  5. Roger Hood (@RajaHood) - 8 years ago

    In my experience, yes it is possible to use the home button to access the lock screen, but Touch ID is so fast that the majority of the time unless I hit it and instantly jerk my thumb/finger away it will usually unlock. Trying to pull away before Touch ID registers doesn’t feel natural (and I have almost dropped the phone trying to do so), so I will stick to using the sleep/wake button to view the lock screen and enjoying the almost-instant access to my home screen with the home button.

  6. pr1son3r (@pr1son3r) - 8 years ago

    That’s cause the speed at which you press the home button differs from one person to another, some people press it fast and quick while others slow…

  7. nickjeremiah - 8 years ago

    Just use the power button. Problem solved.

    • jjr512 - 8 years ago

      This is not “problem solved”. This is changing the way I use the phone, and I shouldn’t have to do that. The phone should cater to me, not the other way around.

    • marcas91 - 7 years ago

      Agreed. I can’t believe people are actually complaining about having secure instant access to their phones. Use your finger tip or fingernail if the Wake button is such a burden.

      • jjr512 - 7 years ago

        You’re missing the point. I’m not complaining about secure instant access to my phone; rather, I’m complaining about the new difficulty in seeing the lock screen. Sometimes I just want to see the time, or see what notifications I’ve gotten.

        If you’ve found a workaround that works for you, good for you. Please do not make the mistake of assuming that what works for you will work for everyone else. The way my phone sits in the pocket of my pants, it is natural for me to push the Home button as I’m withdrawing the phone from my pocket. Then the lock screen will be displayed by the time I have the phone fully removed from my pocket and turned towards my face. Now I can’t do that anymore, because instead of the lock screen, I’ll be seeing the home screen. I’m not sure if you understand this, but my pocket is not so loose that I can bend my finger to just hit the home button with my fingernail. So now I have to fully remove the phone, then press either the Wake button or the Home button with a fingertip, and having to wait till the phone is all the way out means it now actually takes longer for me to see the lock screen.

        Ok, so we’re talking seconds or less, and minor inconveniences here. Just because I’m complaining about it at all, don’t assume that this is the biggest problem in my life and the only thing I complain about and that I spend all my time doing so. It is minor, but an inconvenience nonetheless. This faster thumbprint scanner is a solution I didn’t ask for to a problem I didn’t have, and now I have to change the way I use my phone. And I don’t want to change. It shouldn’t be necessary.

  8. applewatch20152015 - 8 years ago

    And another one to disagree here. It is lightning fast…which is awesome when I want to get into my phone. But sometimes I want to stay on the lock screen and answer a text using quick reply. I now use the power button when I want to do that. What sucks is that the power button is really hard to press when the Apple leather case is on it so it’s making me not want to use that $50 case.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      Yes, I had the same grumble with the case. The one I use now has cutouts, which works much better.

      • applewatch20152015 - 8 years ago

        Glad I’m not the only one who thinks that the power button is hard to press in that leather case. I’m using a Spigen thin case now with the cutouts. I like it…soft touch and easy to hold. Although I feel like I can notice the increased thickness of the 6S Plus and it feels like it’s easier to hold than my 6 Plus without a case on. In “protected environments” like my home, I use the phone without a case to enjoy the engineering and design of the iPhone.

  9. Sorry, but I can’t reproduce what you show in your demo. Here’s my demo of the Touch ID performance on the iPhone 6s. It’s so super fast that I can’t even get to the lock screen :

    • Brian (@brianhancock) - 8 years ago

      This is exactly how fast mine is! I had to remove one of my fingers from Touch ID (since I setup 4) so I can use my left thumb to just see lock screen easily.

  10. PMZanetti - 8 years ago

    Nah, through any natural use of the phone, its now so quick you will never see the lock screen. Doesn’t matter anyway…as an Apple Watch user I have no need for the Lock Screen on my iPhone any longer…not for the time, or notifications.

  11. Zdenka Mi - 8 years ago

    Easy solution. Just press the home button with your finger tip. That way, it won’t unlock since your not scanning whole finger.

    • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

      You were a LOT slower than me, that’s the reason.

      • Fluffy D. Bunny - 8 years ago

        1 second is not slow #WTFUX what ios9 really needs is an adjustable read delay setting for those of us that can’t move at the speed of light.

      • Brian (@brianhancock) - 8 years ago

        How about watching and replying to Anthony’s video above this one? Maybe your print recognition isn’t as fast but there are lots having this “issue”. It’s blazing fast.

      • Ben Lovejoy - 8 years ago

        I honestly don’t see it as an ‘issue’ one way or the other.

      • Brian (@brianhancock) - 8 years ago

        It’s not technically an issue, that’s why I put it in quotes. It’s just a behavior. But, like others, pressing the button unlocks the phone every single time for me no matter how fast I do it. Bottom line, it’s performs this way for many users and others it’s slower.

  12. Ben, something’s wrong with your phone. Or you thumb. If the Genius Bar can’t help, make an appointment with a dermatologist. ;)

  13. Richard Passavant - 8 years ago

    I think it’s how you calibrated TouchID to that digit – I made sure to train the tip of my thumbs/fingers so it would reliably when not using the main pad. It looks to me like you didn’t since your thumb position when clicking in the first two tries is different than the position you put it in when you unlock.

    I also don’t think it’s /impossible/ it’s just no longer easy to do it if you were used to the 5s or 6 TouchID sensor.

    Funny – this story doesn’t show up on the main home page or show up when filtered by the “IOS Devices” tag – it’s almost as if it was removed on purpose…

  14. jjr512 - 8 years ago

    Add another disagreement. I can press the button without unlocking it, but it is not a casual action. I have to make a deliberate attempt to jerk my thumb away as quickly as possible.

    It should not be this way. I shouldn’t have to make a deliberate effort to not unlock the phone, nor should I be required to change the way I use the phone and switch to using the power button to see notifications. I should not have to cater to the phone.

    Apple should add a setting to require the finger to touch the sensor for half a second. Using a setting means people who like the instant response can have it, while those who like a delayed response can also have it, merely by changing the setting.

    • verizon2828 - 8 years ago

      One on side, I looooove the fact that I can get into my phone right away. On the other side, it does suck when the lock screen access is pretty much gone because of the speed of Touch ID. I’d rather transition to using the power button to wake up the phone and keep the Touch ID speed. If Apple does address this, I hope it’s a user selectable speed. I get into my phone more than I access the lock screen.

  15. ianh11 - 8 years ago

    Another solution…you can press the home button 3 times to get to the lock screen. Pressing it twice will go to apple pay. Pressing it a third time will get to the lock screen, without reading your fingerprint.

    Also, there is either something wrong with the 6s in the video, or this guy’s finger.

  16. It’s pretty dang fast. You have to press it incredibly quick for it to not unlock immediately once pressing the home button. But if you really just want to see the lock screen, just press the lock button instead.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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