Android 7.1.2 beta brings fingerprint swipe gesture to Nexus 5X

Google started rolling out Android 7.1.2 Nougat public beta to all compatible devices just a few days ago. One of the compatible devices, the Nexus 5X is receiving a much requested feature: a swipe down on the fingerprint sensor to reveal notifications. There was much controversy back in November over why last generation’s Nexus devices were not receiving the ‘Swipe for notifications’ gesture. Despite the Pixel featuring the exact same fingerprint sensor, Android 7.1 did not bring over the useful feature to the Nexus 5X and 6P. Continue reading “Android 7.1.2 beta brings fingerprint swipe gesture to Nexus 5X”

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Rumour : Samsung might be preparing its own fingerprint scanner chips

Samsung isn’t just the largest smartphone manufacturer, but also one of the biggest players in the mobile semiconductor industry among a lot of other things. Now it’s looking to break into the fingerprint chip market.

The presence of fingerprint sensors on smartphones has seen dramatic rise this year. However, the only main sources for the chips used in these sensors are FPC, from Sweden, and Synaptics, from the United States of America.  Continue reading “Rumour : Samsung might be preparing its own fingerprint scanner chips”

Googler explains why they won’t bring Pixel’s fingerprint gestures to Nexus

One of the great new features of Google’s Pixel phones is the fingerprint gestures that have been added to give you additional ways to perform tasks with the device. Some Nexus owners expected to see those features brought over to last year’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, but Google has stated it has no intention of doing so.

Earlier Google reasoned that this was due to a lack of hardware but as it turned out, both the Nexus 6P and the Pixel share the exact same fingerprint sensor. This sparked a controversy on reddit with several users accusing Google of lying to customers. So now that the grand conspiracy to leave Nexus owners high and dry when it comes to fancy new Google Pixel features like has finally been exposed, the question of “why” comes back again. Continue reading “Googler explains why they won’t bring Pixel’s fingerprint gestures to Nexus”

Get the Google Pixel Fingerprint Gestures on any Android Marshmallow device

Google Pixel and a number of Huawei, Lenovo, and Xiaomi devices feature some pretty nifty shortcuts you can access using the fingerprint sensor. But these are no longer exclusive to those handsets thanks to the amazing developers at XDA. What began life as a simple app to just put the device to sleep with MIUI ROMs has turned into much more.

The app put together by ztc1997 is called Fingerprint Quick Action. The best part is that the app does not even require root although, it is better if you do have it. Continue reading “Get the Google Pixel Fingerprint Gestures on any Android Marshmallow device”

Samsung patent hints at U-Touch like capabilities for future Samsung devices

It looks like fingerprint gestures aren’t hot just for Xiaomi and other Chinese OEMs anymore. Google built a fingerprint notification swipe inside the Pixel phones and now apparently, Samsung is working on such an implementation of its own, as these patent applications reveal.

Although the patent does indicate gestures for the fingerprint sensor, it doesn’t necessarily give much detail in the way of what these gestures would enable for users. It does however suggest that it would be compatible with multiple different aspects of the device, and if that’s the case then users may be able to expect the fingerprint swipe gestures on Samsung phones to include more than just one single action, so perhaps they would be able to open up apps, send quick replies from message templates and so on. Continue reading “Samsung patent hints at U-Touch like capabilities for future Samsung devices”

Enable fingerprint reader on Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact units in US

You may already know that unsurprisingly the Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact shipped to the US have disabled fingerprint scanners just like every other Sony Xperia before them. Sony reasons this as a “purely business decision,” whatever that means. But if the lack of a fingerprint reader was the one thing holding you back from buying the device, you might want to re-think.  Continue reading “Enable fingerprint reader on Sony Xperia XZ and X Compact units in US”

Fingerprint scanner support coming to Chromebooks

Chromebooks have moved leaps and bounds since the first prototype was introduced at the end of 2010. Quite quickly, they have caught the attention of the laptop-buying public, thanks to the balances they strike between affordability, simplicity, and security.

Now, they’re getting even better. Some recent commits to the Chromium source code suggest that Google is looking to add support for fingerprint readers.

Continue reading “Fingerprint scanner support coming to Chromebooks”

Police Want to 3D Print a Dead Man’s Fingers to Unlock His Phone

Asking Apple to help break an iPhone is so three months ago. Police have a new, and higher-tech idea: 3D print the fingers of a dead man and use those fingerprints to unlock the phone instead.

Michigan State University professor Anil Jain—who has been assigned six U.S. patents on fingerprint recognition—told Fusion that police showed up at his lab to ask for help in catching a murderer in an ongoing investigation. They had scans of the victim’s fingerprints from a previous arrest and thought that unlocking his phone (the make and model weren’t divulged) might provide clues as to who killed him.

Jain and his PhD student Sunpreet Arora have already printed all 10 digits using the scans and coated them in a layer of metallic particles to mimic how conducive skin is and make it easier to read. The final 3D-printed fingers aren’t finished, but they’ll be ready for police to try out in a matter of weeks.

It’s possible that the whole move will be futile because many phones that use bio-metric data require a PIN to be entered if it hasn’t been used in two days. If that’s the case, fingerprint won’t unlock anything.

The legality of this move is still up in the air, but the case is further proof that fingerprints, while cool, are not really the safest way of securing our private data.

Not that it matters for a dead man, but in 2014 a judge ruled that suspects can be required to unlock a phone with a fingerprint. While the Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination and makes it illegal to force someone to give out a passcode, biometric indicators like fingerprints are not covered by the Fifth Amendment, according to the ruling.

Maybe it’s time to go back to PIN.

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