By now everyone has probably seen the news about Apple's recently launched iPhone 5S. Even as an old time iPhone fan, I had stopped buying new ones since the iPhone 4S. The iPhone 5 had not given me any compelling reason to buy one either. Ironically, in that period of time, even as an old time Mac user and past critic of old versions of Windows, I joined Microsoft.
I did not immediately get a Windows Phone (even though I was losing out an employee discount) and waited until the phone I really wanted came out….. The Nokia Lumia 1020 WindowsPhone 8, with its 41MP mind-blowing smartphone camera, which I bought without a discount or employee rebate. I still kept and use my iPhone 4S, because of the many apps I had bought over the years, and music that is tied to iTunes/Apple at present.
I was very hopeful for a truly innovative iPhone 5S, because, even though Apple's phone is now a direct competitor to my employer's recently acquired smartphone business, I believe innovation at one leading competitor benefits us all, as others have to work hard, invest in innovation and build great devices and services around them.
But, try as I might, despite being eligible for the new iPhone 5 upgrade from AT&T, I did not see any compelling reason to buy this one, at least yet, while my 4S is working fine. The only thing that I found of some interest was the fingerprint reader Apple built in, based on a company it had bought not too long ago.
I have always been a fan of natural interfaces or input devices.
Ironically, my first fingerprint reader was actually a Microsoft branded one I bought for one of my PCs in the days I was a big time Mac fan.
A few years ago I discovered Authentec's USB readers and bought several, especially as they could work on my Macs and my PCs.
Some time later their prices dropped drastically and I found Apple had bought the company. So, predicting that the next generation iPhone would have fingerprint capability was not a leap of genius.
However, I have to say my experience with the Authentec USB pluggable fob readers was frustrating, to the extent I do not use them anymore. Sometimes it would take half a dozen attempts of aligning the finger, the reader and Jupiter with Saturn before it would accept the print. I found simply typing in my complex password took less time and frustration.
Ironically, now that my current position is with Microsoft, I am happy that the technology is becoming more mainstream even if launched by a competitor. Such wide distribution of technology features leads to a greater pressure on everyone to improve the technology. (Remember how frustrating BlueTooth was early on?).
I have a fingerprint reader built into the new Lenovo Windows 8 (now. 8.1 :-) ) laptop I got earlier this year, and it works smoothly, quickly and without trouble (so far!).
So, I am hoping to see more of that technology in other laptops and smartphones. Let the new game begin…. Touch And Go (Innovate!).