iPhone 6 Touch ID

To this date, only a few Android devices come outfitted with their own fingerprint scanner for authenticating purchases and password-protected apps, such as Huawei devices and Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and S6.

Unfortunately, Google’s mobile operating system lacks system-wide support for fingerprint scanning, thereby hampering broader adoption of this useful feature, which Apple users have been enjoying for nearly two years now.

That’s about to change in Android M, the next major version of Android, which should adopt Touch ID-style biometrics, according to BuzzFeed News.

“Google’s new mobile operating system, Android M, will include native fingerprint authentication,” BuzzFeed News has learned.

Fingerprint-based security will let Android fans enjoy “all of the supported applications” on their devices without entering a password. Having the feature available on the OS level should help Android OEMs implement and adopt fingerprint sensors in a consistent manner.

Google-owned Motorola planned on implementing a fingerprint sensor on the dimple that houses the company logo on the back of the Nexus 6. But then Apple came along and purchased sensor experts AuthenTec that provided fingerprint readers to Motorola, Samsung and many other device vendors.

“The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier,“ Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside said at the time. “So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet.”

iPad Air 2 gold touch id

Google is holding its annual conference for developers next week and we’ll be keeping tabs on developments related to Android, Chrome and the whole Google ecosystem to make sure our Apple fans are on top of things.

Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica has put together an exhaustive list of upcoming Google projects that could launch at Google I/O 2015.

Apple wasn’t first to market the fingerprint sensor, but it certainly was the first to mainstream the technology.

Having debuted on the iPhone 5s in the fall of 2013, Touch ID sensors have since been deployed across the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.

iOS 8 currently allows users to use their fingerprint for unlocking their devices and approving iTunes purchases throughout the system. In addition, NFC-enabled iPhones and iPads tap into Touch ID for authorizing Apple Pay transactions in apps and at the point of sale.

With the introduction of the iOS 8 SDK last summer, Apple has opened up Touch ID functionality for developers. As a result, a number of third-party applications in the App Store now have Touch ID protection.

Yesterday, Apple refreshed its Apple Store app with Touch ID support.

Source: BuzzFeed News

  • Anonymous

    It just goes to show competition is a good thing. For years my droud friends braged about there extentions and third party keyboards… While ive had touch id. Glade to see google is catching up. I hope to see an apple pay like phone system from google. Not because i like android because i dont… But because the more phones that use nfc the more propabe a store is to adopte nfc payment ststems.

    • Karthos

      It’s called Google Wallet.

      • Todd Chapman

        He’s talking about a fingerprint authenticated google wallet. Google wallet isn’t as seemless as apple pay

      • Anonymous

        Yep Todd called it. Google wallet card system is not as seem less.

  • iPhoneWINS

    Yeah since jailbreaking is dead .. my next phone might be a high level android

    • Chang in Charge

      Who said jailbreaking was dead? Be patient.

      • Reed

        Nah Jailbreaking is dead. Cydia pretty much sucks now plus with Apple’s switch to constant updates and then if rootless becoems a thing will pretty much be the nail in the coffin. This year already shown how hard it is for the jailbreak hackers to keep up with Apple’s tempo. It makes it hard because even i they have a jailbreak they don’t want to release it to early in or Apple will crush it too fast. Anyways I will also be moving to Android if jailbreak is dead. Have never used an iPhone that wasn’t jailbroken till this year and lord…it is unbearable.

      • Chang in Charge

        Definitely not, Cydia is probably better than its ever been the redesign looks great. Not too many tweaks coming out right now but that will pick up again once the next jailbreak is released. This year has shown that the new wave of jailbreakers from China are relentless. Who knows who might jump back into the jailbreak scene as well. And the cat and mouse game has always been like this between hackers and Apple.

    • Alberto Espinal

      Good luck investing in Android

      • Was pretty easy with the OnePlus One, been over 8 months now.

  • moofer

    How innovative.

  • Admin001

    “to make sure our Apple fans are on top of things.”
    So we can tease our friends who use android. Ahh i now understand. Thanks IDB

    • Victor

      No, I think its more about keeping IDB readers up to date about what the competition is doing. Mainly so its less likely that readers make false assumptions about android.

  • port87

    adopt, sure.

  • Can’t wait for the day Android and iOS stop copying each other year after year.

  • Uhm, I really don’t like the idea of Google now having my fingerprint as another source to nine user data…thankfully, turning this off will be as easy as disabling the service (via DisableServices app).

    • Victor

      I wonder how google will protect your fingerprint on android and if they will use the same level of caution Apple had.

      • I’m not sure what new “caution” Apple had over olden days fingerprint scanners. They lied that the fingerprint data isn’t accessible by anyone and isn’t stored on Apple servers, then they go and patent (http://bit. ly/1IXkccG) syncing of Touch ID over the cloud (ie their servers)…

      • Victor

        This isn’t an active patent as for fingerprint verification the app sends a boolean to the secure enclave control chip. The chip on his part sends a true or a false back to the app, enabling it to react accordingly. Maybe Apple is seeking to inplement this function on future devices, as there may be a hardware issue with current modern devices.

        P.s I would regret it if they do…

      • “The chip on his part sends a true or a false back to the app, enabling it to react accordingly”

        That’s literally what an API does for ANY device equipped with a fingerprint scanner. The “secure enclave” part is literally just a fancy way of describing an encrypted/secured part of the device’s storage, which you’ll easily find on most of today’s Android devices (via their file system manager).

        So, the only precaution Google has to take to match the precautions Apple took is to ensure fingerprints are heavily encrypted, which can be easily accomplished by storing them in the Secure Storage section of the filesystem (pictured below on my OnePlus One). To further enhance the encryption of the Secure Storage, hardware-backed encryption (which BitLocker uses on Windows PCs via TPM chips) could be implemented by the Android OEMs themselves for their fingerprint equipped devices.

        TLDR, “secure enclave” is a meh marketing buzz word.

        Regardless, even with that level of security, I still can’t trust Google with anything personal. Their business is built on selling personal information to advertisers.

      • “The chip on his part sends a true or a false back to the app, enabling it to react accordingly”

        That’s literally what an API does for ANY device equipped with a fingerprint scanner. The “secure enclave” part is literally just a fancy way of describing an encrypted/secured part of the device’s storage, which you’ll easily find on most of today’s Android devices (via their file system manager).

        So, the only precaution Google has to take to match the precautions Apple took is to ensure fingerprints are heavily encrypted, which can be easily accomplished by storing them in the Secure Storage section of the filesystem (pictured below on my OnePlus One). To further enhance the encryption of the Secure Storage, hardware-backed encryption (which BitLocker uses on Windows PCs via TPM chips) could be implemented by the Android OEMs themselves for their fingerprint equipped devices.

        TLDR, “secure enclave” is a meh marketing buzz word.

        Regardless, even with that level of security, I still can’t trust Google with anything personal. Their business is built on selling personal information to advertisers.

      • Image.

      • Victor

        The difference is that android (apparently) can retrieve your fingerprint data, and ios can not…

        That is because the secure enclave’s control chip handles the request, not the OS. As you showed in your picture, the android OS is able to tap into the fingerprint file.

      • “That is because the secure enclave’s control chip handles the request, not the OS. As you showed in your picture, the android OS is able to tap into the fingerprint file.”

        Uhm, do you have any sources to backup your claim? If not, how do you think iOS writes the fingerprint data to the “secure enclave” in the first place if it has “no access” to it? I can guarantee you, it’s not magic.

  • “As is clearly stated by Apple”

    Believing Apple without reasoning/questioning is just outright asinine and ignoramus. They also claimed that Macs don’t get viruses, did you also believe them back then? They’re no saint, they’re just marketing their product.

    None of your third-party sources point out how it gets written to the
    so-claimed “secure enclave” for storage or how exactly the “secure enclave” works, they just say it gets stored there and is walled off from the rest of the system, i.e. they just parrot Apple’s sayings without questions. Simple deductive reasoning would tell you that in order for it to be stored on there, the fingerprint software/driver (which is a sub-part of the operating system, iOS) has to write it to there, so, if it can write it to there, it has access to it, thus, the claim of “iOS doesn’t have access” is BS.

    The way it is stored (as mathematical expressions) is just a fancy way of describing encryption. Nothing more, nothing less.