Though the iOS 11 launch date is still just set for “fall 2017,” a public beta version was released back in June, allowing avid Apple users to tinker around with the new system. What they’ve discovered is that there’s a way to quickly disable your iPhone’s Touch ID and require passcode entry. It’s part of a new emergency call feature: All you have to do is quickly tap the power button five times, then you’ll get a prompt to make an emergency call. At this point, the Touch ID is disabled, and you’ll have to enter your passcode to unlock your phone. One Twitter user (via The Verge) helpfully shared screenshots of the process:
Currently, there are ways around Touch ID, including turning off that option in your settings menu, but this is a handy way to do it without first unlocking your phone using your fingerprint. This new feature is being referred to colloquially as a “cop button,” in light of recent court rulings that allowed police to force suspects to unlock their phones via Touch ID. Passcodes are protected by the Fifth Amendment, but fingerprints are now fair play. Disabling Touch ID by any means has also become part of the protester and journalist safety guide; the Freedom Of The Press Foundation recommends that reporters stick to passcodes to protect sensitive data while covering social justice actions, but it’s also good advice for anyone else in attendance.