We’re already far too familiar with the usual competition between mobile companies from all over the world trying to get as many clients as possible. However, an interesting way of doing it was noticed when Samsung introduced the same fingerprint technology as the one used by the iPhone 5S.

When Apple came up with what they call the Touch ID, many people were uncertain about how well it would work. Most of you probably used fingerprint scanning before on a laptop, and you might have switched back to just using a password, since it seemed easier and better security-wise. However, the big surprise came from the iPhone 5S which was the first smartphone to use the same technology and have great results with it.

Since it worked fairly well, Samsung didn’t take too long before it invented the fingerprint scanner and included it as part of the brand new Samsung Galaxy S5. The tricky part about these two is that although they have similar names and seem to be doing the same thing, they tend to work differently. This article is going to take a look at the two of them, highlighting their weak and strong features, while comparing their efficiency.

The good, the bad and the almost ugly


As expected, both devices bring different benefits to the table. To begin with Touch ID, this one can be used in order to easily buy applications from the App Store, while you can also purchase music and apps from iTunes and use it on iBooks. Instead of having to enter the Apple ID every time you’re willing to access any of the previous, you can just use your fingerprint.

The Touch ID is also reknown for working very well and fast – it only takes about 20 seconds to register your fingerprint once you understand how to do it right. Similarly, once you’re done with the registration part, you’ll only have to rest your finger on the sensor to start using the phone and most apps.

When it comes to security, Apple tried to be cautious in terms of granting developers with access to the fingerprint software. This means that no application developers can take advantage of it and use the same fingerprint recognition when using health or finance-related apps.


On the other hand, a positive but also scary aspect in the case of Samsung is the fact that they did allow developers to use the same technology. This way, you can pay using the PayPal account just by swiping your finger over the verification area. At this moment, the pass package is usable by companies from all over the world – they can request fingerprint recognition, verify whether they’re the same as the ones on the device and many others.

In terms of rapidity, Samsung takes a little longer to register first users. If you never registered your fingerprint before, you will have to swipe each finger eight times to store them. Also, the movement goes from bottom of the screen up to the home key, so it might remind you of the way you register fingerprints on a computer.

The fingerprint scanner on the Samsung phone may also not be as secure as iPhone’s, but it will still be able to provide users with the basic feature of safely securing their phone without having to use a password. This gives makes things a lot quicker, as there’s no need to type the password every time so you can unlock the device, but it has been proven to be less safe.

On the bright side, however, both fingerprint scanners are very likely to improve the overall security of their system for all users. While a password can be easily stolen or copied by hackers, you cannot usually imitate the fingerprint of a person, which makes it safer than any previous technology used by Samsung or Apple.

How do they work?

iPhone 5S fingerprint technology

As noticed in the image above, the Apple iPhone uses a steel detection ring that goes around the home key. Behind this one, there is a square sensor that is able to read the fingerprint just by pressing and holding your finger over it.

The touch screener’s resolution is 500 pixels per inch, and the system also comes with 360 degrees readability – this way, it doesn’t matter which way your finger is positioned, as it will still be recognized. Being very focused on security, Apple will only store the mathematical representations of the fingerprints on the device itself, so they will never be transmitted any further.

Just the same as iPhone’s fingerprint system the one used by the Galaxy S5 is also located under the home button, while the second part of the scanner goes under the screen. The way this one works, however, is different from the other one – Samsung requires users to swipe the finger vertically in order to register the print.

If you’re at the beginning, you will have to first register your fingerprint – this can be done by launching the Fingerprint Scanner within the Quick Settings folder. Once you opened the scanner, you will be asked to swipe each finger across the rows, and wait for the green circle to appear. The green one will only appear if you successfully swiped the finger – in case you didn’t, there will be a red triangle on the side containing a warning.

When you’re done registering it, there will be additional on-screen instructions telling you how to create an alternative password in case you want to use that one instead. In a very similar way, you can also deregister anytime you want by opening the same application.

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Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.