8 Great Uses for Touch ID Beyond Just Buying Stuff

Why you should activate Touch ID on your iPad

Did you know Touch ID can do a lot more than just making it easier to make a payment in the checkout line? A lot of people don't give the fingerprint sensor on the iPad much thought. After all, who's going to carry their iPad around with them everywhere they go? But Touch ID has a lot of uses beyond simply paying for fast food or buying groceries. In fact, the few minutes it takes to set up Touch ID can easily save you many times that number just through normal iPad use while making your tablet and even your entire digital life more secure.

Touch ID is only available on the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iPad Pro or newer tablets from Apple. If you have an older iPad, you will need to wait until your next upgrade to use these features.

Illustration of a fingerprint in a circle representing Touch ID icon
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Open Your iPad Without Typing the Passcode

This may be one of the most overlooked features for those not familiar with Touch ID. Once your iPad has scanned your fingerprint, you can use it to bypass the passcode on your iPad. Simply place the fingertip or thumb you scanned on the Home Button and rest it there lightly until the iPad unlocks. You don't need to actually push the Home Button. It will only take the iPad one-to-two seconds to unlock. 

Don't have a passcode on your iPad? This is a great opportunity to add one. The main reason why many people don't use a passcode is that they don't want to constantly type it every time they pick up the iPad. This feature takes the pain out of locking your iPad.

You can even have multiple people scan their fingerprints into the iPad and use it to unlock these features. So if you share your iPad with your spouse or family, multiple users can still unlock it just as easily.

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Download Apps Without a Password

Touch ID is also able to authenticate Apple ID transactions in the iTunes ​store. If that sounds like a mouthful, it boils down to downloading apps from the App Store without typing in your password. Even free apps require you to type in your password by default, and if you find yourself browsing new apps on a regular basis, Touch ID can save you a lot of time and energy. 

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Skip Your Password in Other Apps

When Touch ID was initially released, third-party apps were restricted in its use. Now that the feature has matured a little, Apple has opened it up to other app designers. This is a perfect pairing for apps like 1Password, which stores all of your passwords for your accounts around the web. Previously, you needed to type in a master password into 1Password, but with Touch ID, you can simply use your fingertip. 

This can make your life both more secure and more simple at the same time. You can feel free to use difficult passwords without the need to either memorize them or write them down somewhere in case you forget. A good alternative to 1Password is LastPass.

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Keep Your Scanned Documents Secure

The digital age has brought its own share of gifts and its own share of headaches. One such headache is what to do with sensitive documents. Scanner Pro can help out by not only scanning documents to store on your iPad but also securing them by using your fingerprint. 

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Keep Your Notes Safe

Evernote has evolved into a jack-of-all-trades for productivity on the iPad. You can use it to jot down notes, collaborate on projects, share lists, clip articles from the web and store photos among many other uses. And understandably, Evernote can contain a lot of personal information you may not want to leave open for prying eyes, so the ability to secure documents with Touch ID is a great addition to an excellent app.

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Sign Documents With Your Fingerprint

Remember when we needed to sign things? Nowadays, most of the time we're asked to 'sign' a document, we're asked to do so digitally.

SignEasy helps you simplify this process by allowing you to add your signature to the app and use it to digitally fill out documents instead of printing them out. Once you have it saved, you can add it to documents using your fingerprint. The app supports three different signatures, which is great if you are married. You can import a wide variety of documents from Word and PDF formats to documents stored in ​iCloud Drive, Evernote or Dropbox

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Two-Factor Authentication Without the Headache

As we try to live more secure lives, having just a password unlock our accounts isn't always enough. We hear about major hacks every few weeks, and each time a company we do business with gets hacked, our usernames, email address and sometimes even passwords are compromised. 

Two-factor authentication adds a new layer to account security. Two popular forms of this type of authentication are tying a picture to our account or texting a code that must be entered to unlock the account. Authy helps out by adding our fingerprint to the mix. Who wants to essentially enter two passwords, especially when one of them changes every time we try to log in? It's much easier and even more secure to simply put a finger on a sensor.

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Keep Your Memories Safe

And what about your diary? Our daily journal is often one of the first things we ever wanted to secure behind a lock and key. Memoir is an awesome way to keep track of your memories. You can use it to sync your social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram to your camera roll and files on Dropbox. It's a really cool combination of features that you can lock behind your fingerprint.

And Let's Not Forget Touch ID Is Great for Buying Stuff

We may not bring our iPad to the mall with us, but many do use their iPad for shopping. Many apps from Amazon to Home Depot support Touch ID for purchasing items or simply account authentication. This is the at-home equivalent of waving your iPhone in front of the credit card machine at the store.