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  • Dreanmachine1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I started this thread and from day one, with two phones (and then 2 replacement phones), we, like RC-R (and others), have tried everything offered, multiple times (both me and my wife).  Some limited success here and there, but ultimately frustration and levels of failure. I almost cringe each time a response comes in anymore because I know it is more guessing and trying, and hoping. I am very grateful for the many passionate folks who offer their inputs and desires to figure this out and help the mass market. However, I have grown weary and wonder if software brilliance will ever fix this someday from out of the universe. My wife no longer uses it and I keep hanging with it. I have an iPad Air and I have a sigh of relief each time I am required to enter my code and know there will be no 'Try Again' flashes of anger. I just had to vent one more time and share the many similar sentiments here in this thread and others. Thanks for listening to my emotional rant  .

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)

    Dreanmachine1 wrote:

    I almost cringe each time a response comes in anymore because I know it is more guessing and trying, and hoping.

    I don't think it is as much guessing & hoping as it is just that what works well for some users doesn't do anything useful for others.

     

    The one variable we (& Apple) can never assume is the same for everyone is the biometric characteristics of different fingertips. Some have more distinct fingerprint patterns or thicker, more leathery skin than others. Older folks like myself probably have drier, less pliable skin than younger ones, so even how firmly or lightly one needs to press to get the same amount of contact with the sensor will vary significantly.

     

    Some people's skin absorbs moisture or the oils in lotions more readily than others, & that too will affect the results. (Curiously, I can rub a whole lot of hand lotion into my thumb & that does not have much if any effect, but even the tiniest bit of moisture results in failure every time.)

     

    If you are having problems with Touch ID, I believe the best advice remains to try the various suggestions & see which (if any) work for you. If none do, tell Apple about it. There isn't much else we can do, right?

  • Joe_Fo Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Sorry, don't know what to tell you guys. My fingers have been with me for 63 years and have been through almost everything you can think of, and are always dry and for the better part of the year like 60 grit sandpaper.

     

    No real calluses to speak of, except for the edge of my right thumb from iphone scrolling.

     

    I think given that some have had others enroll their fingers only to find out TID works for others but fails over time for the owner on the same phone is telling.

     

    If I had not found something that worked after 2 weeks of owning the phone, I too was ready to return the thing.

     

    I firmly think there's a software problem that, in my case, causes the slow death syndrome, but only if I enroll more than one thumb.

     

    Since learning the sensor is not optical I'd be inclined to think Griswaldo4g's method has merit, but fail to see why it would only be required during enrollment but not be required during use.  Besides, there are many who have never had a problem, and some who have developed workarounds which seem to work, but admittedly only for a few, unless some read about "solutions" here, try it, finding it works for them, and never bother creating an account to let us know it solved TID for them.

     

    Don't give up hope that Apple can't fix this problem. Looking at the patent filings sheds some light on the H/W, and I'm thinking a firmware tweak to dynamically ramp the gain stage could help with the damp finger problem as well as allowing a more noise free scan overall which could help with the TID early onset dementia problem.

     

    While there could be a bad batch of sensors, the fact that I can change how I enroll and either have no problems with damp hands, to total failure for at least an hour after showering was a real eye opener.  Not sure yet how to leverage it though...

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I deleted my enrolled print and re-enrolled putting a bit firmer pressure as you suggested. I'll see in time if that gives me a longer run without trouble. Using the lighter pressure enrollment (but your method otherwise) gave me about a month before I started to get the smaller and smaller area of recognition. By 7-8 weeks I was getting far too many "try again" messages to live with.

     

    Thanks for your continued work on this Joe.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, 48 hours later and I'm already getting noticeable print degradation. Not a good sign. I just wiped it and started again. Amazing how it recognizes so much of your print right after you enroll. Why oh why can't it stay that way Apple?!

     

    When I had the longest run of success I started with a new phone and clean install of iOS. Maybe I'll have to try that route again and restore from DFU mode. What a pain...

  • Joe_Fo Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    So in other words, lighter pressure worked better for you and lasted longer.

     

    For me, a lighter touch worked great, and as long as I never bathed, and might have been a keeper.  A firmer pressure during enrollment worked up until I had to delete it due to testing other ideas, the longest was a month.

     

    Too many minute bio changes affecting performance to call this device stable...

  • Charybdisc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just an observation I have: I get better unlocking results if I place my registered finger on the touch ID sensor and unlock using the Sleep/Wake button rather than pressing and releasing the home button. Seems less pressure works better for me.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, there are so many variables involved that it is really hard to say whether lighter or firmer pressure works better at this point.  What I can say is that my previous method of registration was just to touch the sensor, and I wasn't thinking about how much pressure to use.  In fact, I enrolled the print in the Apple Store after getting a new phone right out of the box.  I wasn't even particularly careful with the registration method as I was standing there at the Genius Bar. That one lasted about 8 weeks, though the last few weeks of it I was having a lot of "try again" messages.  I did not notice any significant issues after bathing ,etc. so I probably wasn't using as light a touch as you did in your experiment.

     

    This time I've deliberately applied more pressure on your suggestion. When I did  it a couple days ago I may just not have been careful enough with my method, so I'm trying again.  It does seem logical that this would work better, especially considering that it is apparently a capacitive sensor.

     

    What continues to intrigue me is that when first registering a print almost the entire print will unlock the phone, including closer to the tip.  After a couple days the tip and the outer edges are no longer recognized.  Generally, the middle "meatier" part still works well, but that too will eventually degrade after a month or so in my experience.

     

    Nothing over the last four months has convinced me that this is anything other than a software (or firmware) issue.  I don't know why it affects some and not others, but there are so many different configurations and combinations of settings and apps that each user may be running it would be impossible to test with just one or two phones. And that's not even taking into account the differences in users' fingerprints.

  • Joe_Fo Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Charybdisc wrote:

     

    Just an observation I have: I get better unlocking results if I place my registered finger on the touch ID sensor and unlock using the Sleep/Wake button rather than pressing and releasing the home button. Seems less pressure works better for me.

    I do as well, however, pressure is subjective. While I've been using this to accelerate training "over time", it's not practical in daily use. Sometimes only one hand is free, and position and pressure is not precise. Nor should it have to be, in an ideal world.

     

    I'd offer this to qualify pressure: The fingernail oxygen blood level test, sort of. A light amount of pressure does not push enough blood out of the tissue under the nail causing a color change;  A heavier amount of pressure does. This however doesn't differentiate between levels of heavier pressure though, just "some" pressure as opposed to no pressure.

  • mrsnork Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Joe, to follow-up on this, I couldn't get anything to work for more than one day or so.  Decided I had to start again from scratch...backed up phone in iTunes, erased all settings and content, put it in DFU mode (different than straight restore or recovery mode, DFU mode reloads the entire firmware as well), restored and set up as a new phone.  Enrolled only right thumb using average-to-light pressure, as had previously worked well for me.  Restored again through iTunes, this time using my backup (but the print enrolled when the phone was a new set-up was retained). I was still having an issue with "try again" and noticed the "location services" arrow was lit.  Checked under location services in settings what was just using my location.  It was "frequent locations" which I turned off.  After that I have had no problem with Touch ID. It's back to 100%, for about 10 days anyway.

     

    So, a couple things here: 1) Something seems to corrupt the firmware, causing TID to fail.  Restoring in DFU mode seems to resolve it.  2) Maybe coincidental, but the iOS 7 "frequent locations" feature seemed to cause some problems, because when it was disabled the issues suddenly resolved and have not reappeared.

     

    Again, this really seems to rule out a hardware issue for me.  It does seem that there is a combination of software and firmware issues at play when it goes bad, but once the firmware is corrupted no software or other tinkering can resolve it until the thing is completely wiped and the firmware is reinstalled via DFU mode.

  • Joe_Fo Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    Very interesting.  Not sure how or why the firmware would take a hit as it shouldn't be writable except when installed ( you'd think, anyhow) but who knows.  Alpha hit?  Would be nice if it was checksummed and verified at boot...

     

    Good catch on frequent locations! Mine is set to off. Not sure if that's the default, but is something I would have turned off anyhow during initial setup. I'll have to turn it on to see if I can get it to fail.

     

    Good job. Thanks for beating up on it. 

  • Joe_Fo Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    IOS 7.1 now available.

  • Charybdisc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's only been a little over a day since I upgraded to ios 7.1 but I have experienced better touch ID response than ever before. No faulires or fades and it usually unlocks on first try rather that three or four attempts. I usually have degraded performace after one day and after 4 days it's unbearable.

     

    I erased my fingerprint before the upgrade and setup just one finger still after the upgrade. Joe, it looks like they changed the scanning process and you cannot exit out of the scanning setup after the primary fingerprint scans (full thumb print) by going back. There is only the cancel option, so I scanned the edges as they force you to do this. So far so good. I'm sticking with one finger until I have at least a week or two of success.

     

    I'd like to hear what other users with the fading print issue are experiencing after the ios 7.1 upgrade.

  • R C-R Level 6 Level 6 (14,875 points)

    Charybdisc wrote:

    I'd like to hear what other users with the fading print issue are experiencing after the ios 7.1 upgrade.

    It has only been a few days for me as well, but after updating to 7.1 so far the Touch ID has unlocked the phone on the first try every time, with no delay at all.

     

    I did not have to erase my previous scans, having done that a couple of days prior to the update because they had faded to the point of zero recognition. Also, I have both a thumb & one finger scanned & both work equally well.

  • Joe_Fo Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)

    I reported over in the erratic thread that I left my pre 7.1 print intact and upgraded to 7.1, and it still worked after the upgrade.

     

    Yeah, it was reported there too by a 7.1 beta tester about the change to scanning the edges and not being able to bail out without finishing the entire scan.  BTW, I have used the "angled finger" as Apple shows in their example. something that always failed within a few hours for me, and while it worked initially, and still does for my primary thumb, I just checked my other thumb and the angled tip is not working.

     

    I have added both index fingers and other thumb after the 7.1 upgrade, and aside from one early AM almost failure (area shrunk to a very small spot that worked, but 1-2 hours later was working over entire scanned area) all four fingers are working without a problem except as noted above.  I was never able to go more than a few days with more than one finger enrolled without all failing, but so far it's looking very good.