Earlier this year, a well-known Apple analyst claimed that the next iPhone would include a fingerprint scanner under the device's home button for user authentication. At the time the claim seemed a bit on the unlikely side given the infrequent use of biometrics in consumer devices, but a new bit of code leaked in iOS 7 beta 4 reveals a folder called "BiometricKitUI" that appears to back up that assertion.
"Photo of a person holding an iPhone with their left hand while touching the Home button with their thumb_; A fingerprint that changes colour during the setup process; iPhoto of a person holding an iPhone with their right hand while touching the Home button with their thumb_Recognition is complete…"
According to Sood, the text is what would be read to an iPhone user via the VoiceOver function. According to a source in contact with 9to5Mac, Apple has already completed work on a fingerprint authentication system for the iPhone, so this text would likely point to that new development.
Apple's renewed commitment to product secrecy in wake of a string of post-Steve Jobs leaks has mostly worked over the past couple of years. But this new reveal appears to be a pretty solid leak that gives us the best clue yet that Apple intends to take consumer-level biometrics mainstream.
Additionally, 9to5Mac also uncovered news that Apple may finally include NFC in at least one of its devices. Another string of code found in the latest Apple TV beta OS reveals a feature that allows users to pair Bluetooth remotes to the set-top box via tapping. The engineers in Cupertino, certainly seem busy as of late.