Google is finally bringing native fingerprint authentication support to Android
Google will be adding native fingerprint authentication support to Android M, which it will be unveiling next week at Google I/O.
This will allow apps to take advantage of the scanner to provide better security. It will also allow users to login in to apps by simply scanning their fingerprint.
Android OEMs have been playing catch up to Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner since the latter introduced it with the iPhone 5s in 2013. The initial fingerprint scanner used by Samsung, HTC and other OEMs were swipe-based, instead of touch-based, that made them difficult to use. It is only this year that Android devices are shipping with a touch-based fingerprint scanner that is as good as Touch ID — if not better.
However, as things stand right now, fingerprint scanners on Android devices are not particularly useful because the OS itself lacks native support for them. On the Samsung Galaxy S6, the fingerprint scanner can only be used to unlock the handset, with LastPass being the only app that uses the scanner for authentication purposes.
Once Google adds native fingerprint support to Android, developers will be easily able to update their apps to take advantage of the fingerprint scanner for authentication purposes.