It’s no surprise to anyone that the next iPad Air and iPad Mini will have Apple’s fingerprint scanner installed, and evidence has been found in the latest software developer’s kit (SDK) for iOS 7.1 that points to Touch ID on the iPad line.
When Touch ID was first launched on the iPhone 5s, analysts quickly pointed to the iPad Air’s scannerless home button. This made it an easy assumption that the next generations, presumably called the iPad Air 2, will possess the fingerprint scanner system. Consisting of a capacitive detection ring and a high-powered scanner, the Touch ID system allows users to unlock their device and purchase content on the App Store without the four-number security lock.
The evidence in 7.1 SDK was originally uncovered by a French iOS developer, who also uncovered the possible addition of Siri to Apple TV. The developer, identified by the Twitter handle Bp_Unicorn, highlighted the find in the image above.
Unicorn, as in the Siri find, points out that Apple uses three classifications for its devices. Integer 1 and Integer 2 refer to the iPhone line and the iPad line, respectively. The third integer refers to the Apple TV line of iOS devices, which isn’t included in the Touch ID system. Obviously, Touch ID has already been implemented on the iPhone 5s, which shows that the biometric security device will most likely be added to the next iPad lines.
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Most likely, consumers won’t have to wait until fall to find out if Unicorn is correct. Apple is expected to discuss the next version of its set-top box at WWDC, on June 2-6.
Since Unicorn found evidence of an Apple TV with Siri and an iPad Air 2 with Touch ID in the same report, it can be reasonably concluded that if Apple announces the former, it will confirm the latter.
Apple has yet to announce what the iPad or next iPhones will look like, nor have they discussed any of their specs. However, current rumors suggest that both devices will run on the A8 processor, and will have upgraded memory and displays. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently gave a prospective timeline for product launch, putting the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini Retina 2 earlier than last year, launching before the iPhone 6 in late August. The iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina launched in November 2013.