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Thumb Here, Please: Apple's iOS 8 Lets You Buy Things With a Fingerprint

Apple's Touch ID used to be just for unlocking your phone, but apps like Amazon can now use it to let you log in securely and make purchases.

When Apple's Touch ID made its debut, its sole purpose was unlocking your iPhone with the press of a finger. A year later, the possibilities have opened up, and you can now enter secure apps and log into accounts with just your fingerprint. Amazon was among the first to add the ability: now, instead of logging in when you want to make a purchase, you just put your thumb down. Financial apps like Simple, Mint and ETrade have also made it an option, circumventing passwords and saving time. And even if your favorite site or app doesn't add Touch ID support, you can put your credentials into a password manager like 1Password or LastPass for safekeeping — and use your thumb to log into those. This is just the first phase of apps and services that are enabling Touch ID, so be sure to keep an eye on the "What's New" field when updating others — many more will surely be adding the ability soon.



—Devin Coldewey