The next major platform update for Apple’s mobile devices will bring an easy way to quickly disable the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. This new setting has been designed to automate calls to emergency services. It enables iPhone users to tap the power button five times in succession to call 911. The option doesn’t automatically dial the emergency services by default but provides the user with the option to and it also disables the Touch ID fingerprint sensor temporarily until the passcode is entered.
This feature is referred to as the “cop button” and it was first discovered by Twitter users in the latest iOS 11 public beta. The only way the Touch ID sensor could be temporarily disabled previously was by restarting the iPhone then waiting for a few days until the device automatically prompted for the passcode and then use different fingers to force the handset to lock out.
This new feature that Apple has built into iOS 11 offers a more discrete way of locking out an iPhone. This will be particularly useful in situations when a user is worried that someone might force them to unlock their iPhone by using the fingerprint sensor.
The iOS 11 public beta is open for those who are curious about the new platform update and want to test it out. Apple hasn’t confirmed at this point in time when it’s going to roll out iOS 11 for all supported devices. The company is expected to release iOS 11 in September.