Integrating Touch ID Into Your iOS App

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The app store is home to several thousand apps that contain user data. Up until iOS 8, there weren’t many ways to provide security around that data without using options found in third party APIs.

Apple recognized the need for accessible and reliable security in iOS, and beginning with the introduction of iOS 7 and the iPhone 5S Touch ID. It’s not only more secure than the other alternatives, but much easier and convenient for the end user.

Today, we’ll look at how to integrate Touch ID into your own app.

Local Authentication

Touch ID and its API are driven by the Local Authentication framework, which was made available in iOS 8. With it, you can evaluate specific security policies for a device’s user. Right now, this framework contains only one exposed class – LAContext.

As the name implies, all authentication is strictly specific to the device and its user. There are many scenarios where a user would want to authenticate themselves to the device. A common use would be when the user attempts to purchase apps inside the app store.

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