Apple has introduced a new feature in iOS 11 that allows you to quickly and easily disable Touch ID. The new SOS feature was designed to quickly call emergency services or view medical info. However, this feature also locks the phone so the only way to unlock the phone is by using the password.
The same screen to unlock your phone is presented in other instances where Touch ID is disabled. For example when you reboot your phone or attempt to unlock with Touch ID too many times.
Pressing the power button rapidly five times will bring up the new screen. From here, you can power off the phone, make an emergency call (911), view the medical ID information, and cancel. On this screen, pressing the cancel button prompts you for the passcode and the phrase “Your passcode is required to enable TouchID” is displayed.
Not to downplay this new feature in iOS 11. Being able to call emergency services without having to unlock your phone can save precious seconds in situations where every second counts. It’s also a very interesting side effect in how it disables Touch ID. Courts have ruled many times to compel defendants using Touch ID to unlock their phone. While there are other ways to disable the fingerprint based login, this is by far the easiest method.
Also, we can only speculate how this will play out with the iPhone 8. With the all but confirmed rumors of the new phone ditching Touch ID for facial recognition. Would this feature also allow for a quick disable of the facial recognition?
While there are other ways to disable the fingerprint based login, this is by far the easiest method.
Currently iOS 11 is only available to developers and those in the public beta program. For everyone else, it should be released around September alongside the iPhone 8.