Android M could bring native support for fingerprint scanning hardware

Android-M

Before the Nexus 6 launched, there were hints inside AOSP that suggested the phone would come equipped with a fingerprint scanner. And according to ex-Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside, it would have had Apple swooped in and muddied things up.

If you’ve been doing this Android thing for awhile now, you’d know that fingerprint scanning smartphones are nothing new to Android. You can find them on Android devices dating all the way back to the original Motorola Atrix. It wasn’t until years later — no doubt thanks to the success of the iPhone 5S — Samsung followed suit with a scanner built into the Galaxy S5, albeit much more clunky than Apple’s implementation. More recently, HTC jumped on board with the HTC One M9 Plus and before that, the HTC One Max.

We said all that to say this: without a universal Android API for OEMs to tap into, all these manufacturers have to build their own solutions. That means proprietary software and the fingerprint reader only playing nice with a specific apps. With all kinds of security methods built into Android (even face detection) it’s odd that Google hasn’t addressed fingerprint scanners into Android. But that could soon change.

A new report from BuzzFeed suggests that Google will soon support native fingerprint authentication within Android, allowing users to log into apps like the Google Play Store using nothing but their fingerprint. Ars Technica was able to corroborate this story with their featured post recapping some of the thing we can expect out of this year’s Google I/O.

Also worth pointing out is how current Nexus hardware wouldn’t be able to support the necessary software APIs with a lack of fingerprint scanning hardware. If these new APIs are confirmed in a few more days, it could mean this year’s Nexus device will come equipped with a fingerprint reader. How else would Google test their new software?

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