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What’s wrong with Apple’s Touch ID?

What’s wrong with Apple’s Touch ID?

January 14, 2016

Those of us with newer iPhones know how great it is to be able to use Touch ID when we want to buy something from iTunes or the App Store on our iPhones. We don’t have to worry about entering our passwords, unless we’ve just rebooted our phone, which makes the process go by much faster and more conveniently.

There’s something missing in that implementation, though. You’ll notice it when you tap the “Redeem” button at the bottom of the Featured tab in iTunes or the App Store.


That’s right, Apple neglected to allow for Touch ID when you try to redeem a gift or promo code.

Whether you’re purchasing an album, downloading a new app, or renting a movie, you can use Touch ID to authenticate into your iTunes account. But when you want to redeem that gift card you got or the promo code you won, suddenly you have to enter your password again.

Quite frankly, it doesn’t make any sense to me. Sure, my line of work means I enter promo codes more often than the average user, but why on earth would Apple hook in Touch ID support for everything except this button?

Let’s think about it. When you buy an app and use Touch ID, you’re using your fingerprint to give Apple permission to charge your credit card. The same holds when you want to rent a movie or purchase a song or album. All of those transactions require access to your personal information, most specifically your credit card number. Your fingerprint is expected to be an acceptable means of securing your iTunes account for all purchases.

Touch ID 1

On the other hand, entering a gift card or promo code doesn’t require access to your credit card information. It’s adding money to your account, not taking it away, so why require you to input your password instead of using your fingerprint?

It’s a major annoyance, being forced to enter my iTunes account password each time I redeem a code. If you have a simple password, this might not be the case, but my passwords tend to be anywhere between 10 and 20 characters long, with a mix of capitalization, numbers, and symbols.

For those who live off of iTunes gift cards rather than linking a credit card to their account, I’m sure this is just as much of a frustration. I hope that Apple fixes this, but that hope might be in vain. After all, this has been the case ever since Touch ID support for iTunes first came out.

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