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 done in the past, because it spent a lot of the keynote talking about Vision Pro, its 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 the Apple Watch and its Fitness+ service, along with the option to download geographical areas in Apple Maps for offline use.
Apple also highlighted two changes coming 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 about the ability to automate paying my kids their allowance for chores — something I frequently forget to do.
But the second feature Apple announced for the Wallet app has me very intrigued. With the release of iOS 17, iPhone users who have their ID or Driver’s License added to the Wallet app will be able to use it to verify their personal information, including age, at businesses.
Think of it as tap-to-pay, but to verify who you are. Apple says it can be used in situations when you need to verify your age, like when buying alcohol, or during checkout at places, like a car rental business, to verify your identity.
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I still get carded (yes, that’s a humble brag) when buying beer, and showing my physical ID isn’t a huge hassle. But it’s one more step in the checkout process. Streamlining the interaction to tapping my phone twice on the payment terminal, once to verify my age, and the second for payment, would make the entire interaction seamless.
When the feature is used, you’ll need to hold your iPhone near the business’s iPhone (hopefully this expands to all POS systems). You’ll see a prompt letting you know what information the business is requesting, which you can then authorize to be shared using Touch ID or Face ID.
The biggest hurdle I can currently see the new ID feature having to overcome is the fact that currently there are only four states in the U.S. 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 will technically work with any mobile ID that meets the ISO 18013–5 mDL standard. However, I spent a few minutes searching to see if there were any additional IDs that qualified, and I couldn’t find any.