As expected, Apple’s just announced the iPhone 5S, an upgrade to the iPhone 5. It runs iOS 7, and looks almost exactly like the iPhone 5 but comes in different colors: silver, a new “space gray,” and gold — as was heavily rumored. The standout feature is Touch ID, which is an integrated fingerprint sensor in the new sapphire home button that scans your “sub-epidermal layers” at 500 points per inch to read your fingerprint and unlock the phone. You can also authenticate purchases, so buying apps, music, and movies in iTunes and the App Store just got a lot easier. There’s a capacitive ring around the that activates the sensor, and it can read your fingerprint in any orientation. You can also have it authenticate multiple fingerprints, so you can share your phone with specific family members without having to reveal your passcode.
Importantly, fingerprints are encrypted and stored locally on the A7 chip in the phone itself — Apple says fingerprints aren’t available to apps, nor are they sent to any servers or shared with iCloud.
The iPhone 5S will start at $199 for the 16GB model on a two-year contract, with 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399. Pre-orders begin on September 13th, and it’ll ship on September 20th.
The iPhone 5S is the most interesting thing out of today’s press event.. I’m undecided if I’ll upgrade to it yet.. but it looks pretty interesting..