Fingerprint Scanning to be a Thing for Nexus

Shamu Prototype

What we’re looking at here is the back of a prototype Nexus 6, clearly showing an onboard fingerprint sensor below the camera. The sensor was scrapped before launch, perhaps because it would have added to the already-outrageous retail price. But I digress…

Cut to present day, where there is mounting evidence that fingerprint scanning will indeed be a thing for Nexus in 2015. Other devices already have it—notably the Samsung Galaxy S6—but if Google is indeed adding it to their Nexus line it most likely means wider support for biometric security within Google apps.

Is this a good or bad thing? I’m honestly not sure.

First, though, let’s look at the evidence for Nexus fingerprint scanners…

Bullhead TPU Case

Exhibit A: A purported 2015 Nexus 5 TPU case, tweeted by Steve Hemmerstoffer of @OnLeaks. That would be the space for the fingerprint scanner underneath the camera cut-out.

Exhibit B: Another OnLeaks exclusive, a 10-second video of a Huawei phablet prototype with fingerprint scanner, rumoured to the the Huawei Nexus.

There’s more evidence out there, but I’m hoping that this is enough to convince you.

For Samsung users, the company’s second iteration of biometric security seems to be much better than the first. An informal poll by SamMobile back in the spring would suggest that users are generally happy with the technology and the convenience it provides. Moreover, a recent test of fingerprint scanners yielded faster and more accurate results on Android than on iPhone.

My only problem with biometrics is this: As a desktop Linux user of many years I’ve observed only sketchy support for the technology, and have made it a point to avoid laptops and keyboards that include it. Likewise, as a user of custom ROMs I worry a bit about proprietary drivers and such. But if Google continues to post factory images for Nexus devices I suppose there’s no reason why custom ROMs wouldn’t also support fingerprint scanners, at least for Nexus.

Are you excited about biometric security on Android?

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