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Apple TouchID on MacBook Pro. Useless POS. Login/Join 
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Picture of fpuhan
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Somewhere along the line, the TouchID capability of my 2017 13" MacBook Pro stopped working reliably. When I bought the computer new, it was the top-of-the-line 13" MBP with Touch Bar. The premise/promise was that apps would add the ability to perform useful actions by a press on the Touch Bar without having to grab the mouse or manipulate the trackpad. Using one's fingerprint would also allow one to unlock a sleeping/locked computer without requiring a password.

As I recall, I used to be able to start my MBP and log on by just pressing my (previously configured) fingerprint on the Touch Bar pad, and off I'd go.

But somewhere along the line, Apple decided it would be more secure to require a userID and password on startup, and TouchID after the computer was running. That irked me, but I could live with it.

In the nearly three years I've had the computer, the Touch Bar has not lived up to its promise. There are a few apps that have incorporated it into their product, but it really does seem like a useless, costly, add-on. I found and added a little utility called "Pock" that basically adds the Dock items to the Touch Bar. It works well!

But TouchID has gone into the toilet. It almost never works. I've reconfigured my fingerprint, and it works for the first time or two, and then just blinks at me and goes into the "Your password is required to enable Touch ID" screen. Well, what's the point?

I'm not going to take this computer to Apple for a "genius" to look at. The last time I did so, for a trackpad issue, Apple wound up wiping my hard disk. Tsk, tsk. Apple, your quality (and support) has become as tired and dreary as the next guy's.




You can't truly call yourself "peaceful" unless you are capable of great violence. If you're not capable of great violence, you're not peaceful, you're harmless.

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Posts: 2341 | Location: Peoples Republic of North Virginia | Registered: December 04, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In my opinion, they have changed in some/many products and they are built to last through the warranty period then tits up. I’m no saying every product they make but definitely some.



lex talionis
 
Posts: 9750 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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The problem with touch i.d. is it first requires you have fairly strong fingerprints. My wife's are so subdued that even the expensive scanners the U.S. Government uses have difficultly with them. Touch i.d. proved so unreliable for her she stopped trying to use it.

Then the digit(s) you use to register have to be in, or nearly in, the same condition they were when you registered. E.g.: If the digits I've registered on my iPhone and iPad become too dirty, are too wet, are excessively dry, what-have-you: No go.

That's why I'm looking forward to face i.d.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
The dominant media is no more "mainstream" than leftists are liberals.
 
Posts: 17043 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Get my pies
outta the oven!

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That was always a dumb gimmick to me and I can see Apple ditching it someday soon.


 
Posts: 26235 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
That's why I'm looking forward to face i.d.

^^^^^^^^^
Plain old numbers are fine with me. Nearly foolproof unless you forget the sequence. Long enough sequence very difficult to hack.
 
Posts: 7238 | Location: MS GULF COAST | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Re: “When I bought the computer new, it was the top-of-the-line 13" MBP with Touch Bar. The premise/promise was that apps would add the ability to perform useful actions by a press on the Touch Bar without having to grab the mouse or manipulate the trackpad.”

I bought a new MacBook last year to replace my gen 1 MacBook Air. I considered getting the Pro model for its Touch Bar feature. But after thinking about it for a bit I reckoned that wouldn’t be of much use for me, so I bought a maxed-out Air instead. I believe I made the right choice. Plenty of processing power for my uses.

I do really like my Air’s “Touch ID" feature though – it’s wonderful! I have it set up to recognize my left and right forefinger. It’s a good practice to occasionally wipe the Touch ID button with a damp cloth or a Q-tip moistened with alcohol for reliable operation. I suggest that you give that a try.

ETA: Maybe first clean the Touch ID button, then redo the fingerprint recognition setup.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Pipe Smoker,



Look about you.
 
Posts: 5479 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My MBP has given no problems - so far. It's a mid-2016 and I did have the keyboard replaced under the free recall program in December. I use it exclusively while away in the winter and love the thing.



I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
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Posts: 2328 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
goodheart
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I agree the Touchpad itself isn’t all that useful—but thanks for the mention of Pock!
However the fingerprint Touch ID I use many times a day, and each time I’m thankful I don’t have to type in a password.


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Posts: 15548 | Location: One hop from Paradise | Registered: July 27, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by fpuhan:
But somewhere along the line, Apple decided it would be more secure to require a userID and password on startup, and TouchID after the computer was running. That irked me, but I could live with it.

Unless you have FileVault enabled, or a firmware password, you can set your account to log in automatically when it boots. No password prompt, just straight to your desktop.



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Posts: 9192 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Another issue with Touch ID is the temperature of your fingertips. If you have cold hands you'll have lots of issues with Touch ID. BTW, learned about that after my heart surgery in 2018. One of the meds I was on (Amioderone) has a side effect of a lowered body temperature. For about 6 months my temp would check in at 94.7 to 95.0. Once I went of the meds it's slowly increased but since this drug has a 6 month half life it takes years before it's out of your system.


I've stopped counting.
 
Posts: 4406 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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One thing that helps, I learned when I had Touch ID on the iPhone. You can scan 5 fingers, or fingerprints. If you always use the same finger, use those 5 scans to scan that one finger 5 times, each scan altering your position of the finger slightly. This gives Touch ID much more detailed info about that finger, and you might not always hit the button with the finger in exactly the same position.



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Posts: 9192 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
On the DL
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quote:
Originally posted by henryaz:
 
One thing that helps, I learned when I had Touch ID on the iPhone. You can scan 5 fingers, or fingerprints. If you always use the same finger, use those 5 scans to scan that one finger 5 times, each scan altering your position of the finger slightly. This gives Touch ID much more detailed info about that finger, and you might not always hit the button with the finger in exactly the same position.
Good suggestion!

I have a newer phone with face ID, but my iPad sometimes gets finicky about my thumbprint. I never thought of adding additional prints, that should be helpful.



A mind is a terrible thing.
 
Posts: 22473 | Location: Central Florida (near Orlando) | Registered: January 03, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by henryaz:
 
One thing that helps, I learned when I had Touch ID on the iPhone. You can scan 5 fingers, or fingerprints. If you always use the same finger, use those 5 scans to scan that one finger 5 times, each scan altering your position of the finger slightly. This gives Touch ID much more detailed info about that finger, and you might not always hit the button with the finger in exactly the same position.

But you might have a bandaid on that “one finger”, so I recommend scanning at least two fingers. My Touch ID button is set up to recognize my left and right forefinger.

I’ve long wondered at the technology of the Touch ID button. What kind of transducer does it have to detect the fine fingerprint ridges?

ETA: I just remembered – when you set up Touch ID for a finger, you touch the button multiple times with that finger, with slightly different orientation and placement. Seems to me that means no advantage for setting up “multiple fingers” using the same finger.



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Posts: 5479 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Pipe Smoker:
But you might have a bandaid on that “one finger”, so I recommend scanning at least two fingers. My Touch ID button is set up to recognize my left and right forefinger.

I’ve long wondered at the technology of the Touch ID button. What kind of transducer does it have to detect the fine fingerprint ridges?

ETA: I just remembered – when you set up Touch ID for a finger, you touch the button multiple times with that finger, with slightly different orientation and placement. Seems to me that means no advantage for setting up “multiple fingers” using the same finger.

I just used the "one finger" multiple times thing as an example, and yes you might have a bandaid on that finger. Personally, I always scanned two fingers (both index), just because I occasionally use either one. I scanned the right one 3 times (use it more often) and the left 2 times.
 
As far as orientation, you generally have your finger in the same orientation relative to the phone (say at 90 degrees) during the scanning process, and then tilt the finger different ways to capture the different facets of that finger (the outer edges). By different orientation, I meant once at 90 degrees, again at 45 degrees and again at 180 degrees (all just examples), and in each position follow the instruction for tilting the finger to capture the sides, etc. That way, you don't have to worry so much about how you position the finger for recognition, and it gives the sensor a more complete "picture" of your fingerprint.
 
I picked up this trick when Touch ID was first introduced, and was famous for failures to recognize the finger. Later iterations of Touch ID greatly improved on the recognition process (even iOS updates helped). IIRC, I had first a 6s, and then an 8+. Almost never had any issue with the 8+.



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Posts: 9192 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here’s an interesting tip: A friend of mine had some trouble with the Touch ID button of his MacBook. He usually had to touch it several times to make it work. But he discovered that if he licked his finger, then dried it with a tissue (or his pants leg) a single touch always was then sufficient. I guess that the “drying” left his finger very slightly moist.



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Posts: 5479 | Location: San Diego | Registered: July 26, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thats why I enjoy my mid-2014 MBP with SSD. Replaced the battery last year, its still running like a beast and I don't have to use adaptors for USB, HDMI, and other connections.
 
Posts: 44552 | Registered: July 12, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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