Thanks to iOS 8, Apple mobile app developers now have access to the Touch ID biometric fingerprint scanner so users can log in to their apps without entering tiresome passwords.
The iOS 8 software has been available for almost a month, and with new iPads offering Touch ID, there’s a growing list of apps that take advantage of Apple’s fingerprint scanner. Here are three that are definitely worth a download.
Scanner Pro is a terrific app that turns your iOS device into a scanner. If any of the documents you scan are sensitive, you can password-protect them and use Touch ID to avoid typing in the secure code. Scanner Pro is simple to use, and it’s invaluable if you frequently deal with documents on the go. As of this writing, the app is on sale for $3.
As its name suggests, SignEasy is an easy-to-use app that lets you digitally sign documents and fill out forms using your iOS device. (It’s not a document scanner, which is why you’d need something like Scanner Pro.)
A recent software update added features to finalize and protect signed documents using Touch ID, which can prevent unauthorized people from signing your documents.
The current version of the app has a 4.5-star rating in the iTunes App Store, which is impressive. Though SignEasy is free, you need either a Pro ($30 per user, per year) or Business ($60 per user, per year) account to take advantage of Touch ID. If you plan to use SignEasy fairly often, those prices are reasonable — especially because the pay-as-you-go alternative ($5 for 10 documents) lacks many of SignEasy’s most attractive features, including integration with cloud file services and a digital audit trail for tracking who signed what.
It makes perfect sense for a mobile password manager to employ Touch ID, and 1Password does just that. The app is a traditional password keeper, but it also lets you use a single password (hence the name) to access passwords for a variety of sites and online accounts, on desktop computers, iOS devices and Androids. You can store the 1Password master password in your iOS Keychain, then use Touch ID instead of typing in the code.
The iOS app is free, though you need to pay $10 (an in-app purchase) to unlock all of the various password-protection features.
James A. Martin is a seasoned tech journalist and blogger based in San Francisco and winner of the 2014 ASBPE National Gold award for his CIO.com blog. He writes CIO.com's Living the Tech Life blog and is also a content marketing consultant.