By Alexandra Burlacu | Mar 02, 2014 07:23 AM EST
Apple is reportedly preparing to issue a free software update to improve its Touch ID fingerprint recognition experience.
The upcoming update may also fix the "fade" issue some iPhone 5S users have been facing.
The news comes from a new AppleInsider report, but nothing is confirmed at this point. Consequently, it is advisable to take this information with a grain of salt.
"A source familiar with Apple's development plans said the company is well aware of early adopter issues that many iPhone 5s users are experiencing with Touch ID, the fingerprint recognition feature introduced last year after acquiring AuthenTec in 2012," AppleInsider reports.
Even after it launched its current iPhone 5S with the Touch ID fingerprint recognition technology last fall, Apple has reportedly continued working with the original AuthenTec team to improve the software. The company is expected to issue an update "relatively soon," the source further noted.
AppleInsider points out, however, the publication could not verify whether the purported update will ship as part of iOS 7.1, which is expected to roll out in mid-March.
TouchID generated plenty of controversy ever since it launched. Leaving aside the security concerns that had some users worried, initial reviews of the technology mainly praised the "single touch" system for being fairly accurate and easy to set up. A number of users, however, have reported facing what is being referred to as "AuthenTec Fade," or intermittent failures in recognition that start to appear a few months after users first configure their fingerprints.
More specifically, users affected by this issue report that reconfirming their fingerprints apparently restores the system to its initial desired performance, only to have this "fade" issue re-occur a few weeks later.
Some user forums suggested configuring the most commonly used finger multiple times as separate fingerprints, according to AppleInsider. The logic behind this move would be that it would make it more likely for the system to recognize the fingerprint on a first try.
Apple's upcoming Touch ID update should fix at least some of the issues users are experiencing with the iPhone 5S' fingerprint scanner, but it remains to be seen whether it will fix everything. As previously mentioned, nothing is confirmed at this point, and no timeframe is available for when the company would release this update. We'll stay on top of this and keep you up to date as soon as we learn more, so stay tuned.