At the WWDC 2014 developers conference, Apple already announced a revamped OS X Yosemite for Mac and for iPhone it launched a new iOS 8. These two latest products from Apple have been very closely built to bring-in more compatibility between the PC and the Phone.
Another important announcement that Apple made at the event was related to the Touch ID hardware that we saw first featuring on iPhone 5s. If you are not aware, the so called fingerprint sensor, which debuted last year in the aforementioned handset is closely knitted to the OS of the phone. But there are hardly less than a handful functions that it can actually perform.
This fingerprint sensor built into the home button allows for a seamless way to unlock the device, offered a few more security related functions. But with the launch of iOS 8, developers will be able to use the Touch ID API to enable authentication for users. Which means that Apple has open up the TouchID API for developers. This'll work in two ways. First, the developers can either use fingerprint-based authentication for applications and secondly, in case of more sensitive use cases, they can offer Touch ID as a secondary means of authentication.
However, it's up to the developers, how they will actually enable the Touch ID to function. Moreover, it is likely to revolutionize mobile payments and services. If you are aware of the home-automation concept, Apple might make a huge plunge in the segment by pushing the feature via HomeKit.
Also, few reports online suggest that in the near future, you might also be able to set your home temperature or unlock your doors just by using the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone.
The Touch ID API will be available in beta from today itself, so developers who want to use the iPhone's fingerprint sensor in order to authenticate users or add an extra layer of security like in the Mint can start building on it.