Apple abandoned Touch ID in favor of Face ID when it launched the iPhone X in 2017. While the company reintroduced the fingerprint reader in its more affordable iPhones, the convenience of Face ID probably means Apple doesn’t plan to bring back Touch ID for every premium iPhone model launched in the future. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped one modder from attempting the task himself and bringing the feature back to an older iPhone.
Logic board appears to belong to an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max; the mod brings back the fingerprint through the side button
While the A12 Bionic is several generations old, the SoC powers a family of iPhones that don’t support Touch ID. On Twitter, @lipilipsi showed that it’s still possible to add a fingerprint reader to a device that looks like an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max after viewing the default wallpaper. However, the modder did not use the on-screen fingerprint solution due to obvious space constraints.
Instead, he integrates the fingerprint reader into one of the iPhone’s side buttons, which is a clever approach and something Apple has also done with the iPad mini 6 and iPad 10. From his video, it looks like @lipilipsi is putting a component directly on the A12 Bionic chip and then used a ribbon cable to gently attach the side button to recognize your fingerprint.
iPhone A12 CPU device touch id put pic.twitter.com/Da1LuWk6im
– fix Apple 🍏 (@lipilipsi) December 26, 2022
He carefully used solder wires to pass through the circular cutout of the logic board to save as much space as possible, and at the end of the little video he shows that the iPhone actually recognizes your fingerprint. Although the text on the screen is in a different language, using Google Lens on our smartphone, the machine learning translation shows iOS recognizing that there is an additional sensor.
The software informs the user to keep lifting the finger and placing it on the sensor to register the first fingerprint, revealing that such modification is possible, but will definitely void your warranty on a newer iPhone. We’re curious if this mod will be possible on an iPhone 13 or iPhone 14. Hopefully we’ll see something like lipilipsi.
In case you forget, this is the same person who modified an eSIM-only iPhone 14 Pro Max for physical SIM cards, so his talent is immeasurable.
News source: lipilipsi