Will Android M Feature Fingerprint Authentication?

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Future Nexus devices could let Android users unlock their device with just a touch

The next edition of Google’s Android software could include biometric security systems that let users unlock phones using just their fingerprints.

Android M is expected to be announced at Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco next week and will reportedly the capabilities as as part of its firmware.

The speculation is based on the the analysis of several hints in leaked Android source code which seems to suggest fingerprint reading support will appear in future Android updates and the next generation of Google’s Nexus devices.

One touch

Google, Android © Lyao Shutterstock 2012The new systems would differ from current versions found in the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and S6 smartphones as support for fingerprint scanning will be built directly into Android itself, rather than an additional software designed by the manufacturer.

The company has also reportedly been working on the setup and enrolment process pertaining to a fingerprint lock screen and a system fingerprint API service that could bypass the use of password to authenticate any Google Wallet or Play Store transaction, according to Ars Technica.

Google has been close to deploying this kind of idea before, revealing earlier this year that the Nexus 6 smartphone, released last October, was due to come with a fingerprint scanner. However, this plan was abandonded when Apple bought the company responsible for building the technology, leaving Google high and dry.

Biometric support

A recent Visa Europe study revealed that younger British consumers would have no problem with using biometric data to verify their accounts instead.

Fingerprint scanning was seen as the most popular form of biometric scanning, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying they would prefer using these to passwords, followed by retina scans (39 percent) and facial recognition (27 percent).

Overall, three-quarters (76 percent) of this younger consumers said that they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, with over two thirds (69 percent) believe this will make their lives faster and easier.

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