Next week, Google is planning to launch the next version of Android, codenamed Android M, at its annual Google I/O developer conference next week, and a new report online suggests that native (i.e. not just bolted on afterwards) fingerprint authentication features will be available in the new version.
Android M does away with passwords
The next version of Android will include native fingerprint authentication, which will allow user to log into all the supported apps on their Android phones without entering a password.
There aren’t very many details yet, but the report on BuzzFeed notes that users will be able to log into “all supported applications”, and unless something changes drastically between now and next week, we should have all the details (and a lot more on Android M) in about a week’s time.
Why is native fingerprint authentication such a big deal? Well, even though some Android phones have had a fingerprint sensor for some time (such as the Samsung Galaxy range), you’ve only really been able to use it to unlock your phone, unlike the system used on Apple’s iPhones since the iPhone 5s in 2014 where all apps can make use of it. That makes it much more convenient than having to remember and enter passwords all the time.
The Google Nexus 6 device was rumoured to include a fingerprint scanner around the back, but the feature was scrapped not long before the phone launched. So it seems that support for fingerprint scanners in Android has been planned for a while, and the company looks like it’s finally ready to roll it out. That also hopefully means we can expect more Android phones in future with fingerprint sensors…
There are high expectations about Android M, and even though Android Lollipop is still rolling out (and most Android users don’t yet have it), it will be interesting to see what the future of Android holds.