While we have already seen Google accidentally revealing ‘Android M’ in its upcomingGoogle I/O 2015 schedule, we hardly have got any insights about what the new OS might feature. A new report now indicates to what might be one of the most important features that could come with the upcoming OS – native fingerprint authentication support.
Previously few Android OS handsets such as Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, HTC One M9 and others have already introduced the fingerprint authentication system. However, they were specifically OEM-created solutions. Android M on the other hand would natively feature the fingerprint authentication technology and would make it mainstream with the complete Android OS ecosystem – of course, fingerprint sensor hardware would still be required to be included by OEMs.
Google last year was reportedly working on a setup and enrolment process, fingerprint lock screen and “service to manage multiple clients that want to access the fingerprint HAL API”, which means a system fingerprint API that can be plugged in to any app and make it compatible with the feature, points out Ars Technica. The piece of information came via the AOSP for Nexus 6 fingerprint sensor and an API for apps.
As per the report, most of the Google apps would be supporting the fingerprint authentication feature if and when launched. Besides support for third-party apps, Google Chrome might also use it to let users sign-in to websites without typing the password. Google Wallet authentication and Google Play purchases can also use the feature. While fingerprint authentication is yet to be confirmed for Android M, the fact that it almost made its way in to the Nexus 6 makes it more likely to arrive in the next OS version or the next Nexus device said to be made by Huawei.
In January, Dennis Woodside, former Motorola CEO explained that since Apple bought Authentec, perhaps the best maker of fingerprint sensor chips, other OEMs were left with the second best option. “The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” he said.