A new feature was discovered by some Twitter users within iOS 11 that allows people to temporarily disable TouchID. The feature is being lovingly referred to as the “cop button” but really it’s a sequence of button presses rather than a dedicated button. In iOS 11, tapping the power button 5 times quickly in succession will allow a user to dial 911. The call doesn’t go through right away but the option is there to make an emergency call without using TouchID.
Also, TouchID is disabled until a passcode is entered. The cop button feature has been tested and it definitely works. This should be convenient for people who might be in a situation where they are concerned someone could force them to access their device. It’s also handy to know in a situation where you may have to use someone’s device to call 911 if they’re incapacitated.
Face unlock is expected to be coming with the iPhone 8 so I would imagine this feature will also work to temporarily disable that feature as well as TouchID. If you have an iOS 11 beta build installed on your device now then this feature is already available to you. If you’re waiting for the public roll out of iOS 11 then you will have to wait another month or so until the iOS update is rolled out to all users.
Adding the cop button to iOS 11 is a nice change from Apple. The previous method of disabling TouchID was so complicated and unnecessary that it wasn’t even worth trying other than to show that you could do it. Like the world’s worst party trick or something. It’s very cool to see that new iOS 11 features are still being discovered. Apple has clearly hidden a lot of stuff in their new software. We won’t add the cop button to our list of top iOS 11 features since I’m not sure it’s THAT good. Who knows what else will be revealed before next month when the public gets access.