Apple iOS 7 Beta 4 Available Now with Fingerprint Recognition for Home Button

At Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in June, iOS 7 was unveiled to the world. While the masses were told they would have to wait until autumn to get their hands around it, developers were granted access to an early beta right away. As the days pass, Apple engineers are getting closer and closer to having a final version ready for release. The latest beta, v4, was just issued to devs globally, and it's arguably the biggest jump yet. Many developers are suggesting that iOS 7 Beta 4 finally feels polishing and nearly ready for release, and the hinted feature set is worth appreciating.

For starters, the button layout has been tweaked in iOS 7 Beta 4, with slightly less transparency and more defined borders. But perhaps most interesting is the software's reference to a "Biometric Kit, which strongly suggests that Apple is at least considering the addition of a fingerprint sensor on the next-generation iPhone. What would the company use such a thing for? Privacy, for one, and potentially for mobile payments. A phone as a payment device sounds great, but how do you authenticate it? The best way is via fingerprint, and the new software allows for it.

This isn't a confirmation that the new hardware will have such a thing, but why would Apple include it if it weren't at least pondering the addition?