One of the most rumored features of the next iPhone is that it will have a fingerprint sensor in the device. This rumor gained more credence when Apple introduced iCloud Keychain in iOS 7, which lets users store credit card information and passwords in their iCloud account. Combined with iCloud Keychain, a fingerprint sensor on iOS devices, MacBooks and even mice would allow a user to securely and quickly enter their password or other sensitive information like credit card details and usernames, with just the touch of a button.
Of course some people dismiss that Apple would add a fingerprint sensor on the next iPhone, as a traditional fingerprint sensor may skew the look of the device. But a new patent filing from Apple today suggests that Apple could keep the iPhone aesthetically pleasing by adding a fingerprint sensor directly into the screen. This means a user could simply touch a finger to the screen whenever a username, password or credit card information is required, thus enabling that user to quickly gain access to their accounts.
Traditionally it has been thought that Apple would find a way to embed a fingerprint sensor in the iPhone's home button, but this new way it appears to offer a number of advantages including a much larger surface area for a user's finger and also the fact that while holding your iPhone with one hand, it is more comfortable to rest your thumb, for example, on the screen than it is to rest it on the home button.