Apple on Wednesday highlighted more of the software features coming to the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch later this year. Apple didn’t spend as much time detailing features and software updates for its major hardware platforms as it has in the past, because it talked a lot about it during the keynote Vision Prothe new mixed reality headset.
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There’s a lot of information in the latest press release, including more details about updates to Workouts on Apple Watch and the Fitness+ service, along with the option to download geographic areas in Apple Maps for offline use.
Apple also highlighted two changes to the Wallet app for iPhone users. The first new feature is the ability to schedule Apple Cash payments to other Apple Cash users. When I read about this, I immediately thought of the possibility of automating paying my kids their pocket money for chores – something I often forget to do.
But the second feature Apple announced for the Wallet app really intrigues me. With the release of iOS 17, iPhone users who have their ID or driver’s license added to the Wallet app can use it to verify their personal information, including age, with companies.
Think of it as tap-to-pay, but to verify who you are. Apple says it can be used in situations where you need to verify your age, such as when purchasing alcohol, or during checkout at places, such as a car rental company, to verify your identity.
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I still get carded (yes, that’s a humble brag) when I buy beer, and showing my physical identity isn’t a big hassle. But it is one more step in the checkout process. By streamlining the interaction by tapping my phone twice on the payment terminal, once to verify my age and the second time to pay, the entire interaction would be seamless.
When using the feature, you’ll need to hold your iPhone near the company iPhone (hopefully this will be expanded to all POS systems). You’ll see a prompt telling you what information the company is requesting. You can then authorize it to share via Touch ID or Face ID.
The biggest hurdle I currently see the new ID feature having to overcome is the fact that there are currently only four states in the US that support adding an ID or driver’s license to the Wallet app. Those states are Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and Maryland.
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The feature technically works with any mobile ID that complies with the ISO 18013–5 mDL standard. However, I searched for a few minutes to see if there were any more eligible IDs, but I couldn’t find any.