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Apple Postpones Release Of The Digital ID Feature In The Wallet App Until 2022

Photo credit: Izaac Mansfield | Twitter: @izaacmansfield

Apple has postponed support for ID card storage in the Wallet app until 2022. The company first announced this feature at WWDC in June, promising that it would be available in “late 2021,” but it has now been pushed back to 2022, as some of us predicted.

During Apple’s WWDC 2021 keynote, Jennifer Bailey, VP of Apple Pay, announced the feature. During the keynote, Bailey stated that this is the final feature that Apple needs to add to the Wallet app in order for you to be “fully free of your physical wallet.”

The TSA is also “working to enable” airport security checkpoints as “the first place you can use your digital ID,” according to her.

Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah were among the first US states to adopt digital Apple Wallet IDs in September, according to a new press release from Apple.

However, as reported by a news outlet, Apple has updated its iOS 15 feature overview webpage to state that the feature will be available in “early 2022.” Apple has not provided any additional details.

This pause is unsurprising in the least. Apple’s time was running out to meet the end-of-year deadline, as iOS 15.2 is still in beta testing and does not include support for storing digital IDs in Wallet.

Furthermore, as we saw with the COVID-19 Exposure Notification platform, delays are to be expected whenever Apple works with individual governments on a state-by-state basis.

How will the digital ID feature work?

Open the Wallet app on your phone, tap the plus sign at the top, and follow the on-screen instructions to add your driver’s license or state ID. During setup and verification, you will be required to take a photo of your face and perform a series of head movements, which will be securely sent to the issuing state for verification.

Users will see a prompt on their iPhone or Apple Watch when they tap their device on an identity reader, which will display the specific information requested by the TSA.

When you’re ready to present your IDs to TSA security guards or anyone else, simply tap your iPhone or Apple Watch on an identity reader and confirm your action with Face ID or Touch ID. You won’t even need to show your physical card. You won’t even have to hand over your phone or tablet.

The requested identity information is only released from a user’s device after they have authorized with Face ID or Touch ID.

Apple has emphasized the feature’s privacy and security safeguards.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enable select checkpoints at airports where Apple Wallet users can verify their identity before boarding a plane as a result of the integration, the company highlighted.

In an ideal world, this feature would be worth the wait because it would allow users to store their ID or driver’s license in their iPhone’s Wallet app. We don’t know much else about when or how this feature will work, unfortunately.

It’s also worth noting that this feature is also absent from the latest iOS 15.2 beta.

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