Native fingerprint authentication is coming to Android M

OS-level support could turn an underused feature into an Android cornerstone

According to sources who have been in touch with Android Police, native fingerprint scanning for Android will be announced at Google's I/O conference next week.

Lots of Android phones already feature a fingerprint scanner of course, the Samsung Galaxy S6 (which we adored) and HTC One Max (which we also adored) to name but a couple. However these fingerprint systems are driven by manufacturer-specific software, rather than using a universal API within the Android framework. What Google is proposing is a programming interface for fingerprint scanners across all its devices.

We can assume, then, that the next generation of Google Nexus devices will be equipped to make use of your digits in a similar fashion to the aforementioned models from Samsung and HTC. As great as as this is, it isn't even the most exciting implication of native Android support fingerprint recognition. What Google will be thinking about is the massive possibilities for integration.

Apple uses fingerprint authentication throughout its ecosystem to validate user actions on an Apple account, but if Google enables the same functionality for Google Accounts the consequences are far broader. Want to pay for something on the Play Store? Use your finger. Want to pay for something outside the Play Store? Finger again. Want to access absolutely anything that uses a Google authentication process (which is a staggering amount of things). You've got it: finger. Google could be about to make your mobile life a lot easier in one fell swoop.

Google I/O commences on 28th May and will feature talks on subjects that range from virtual reality to the Internet of Things. The event will be host to a truckload of exciting content, but we've predicted what we think the biggest talking points will be in our handy Google I/O 2015 predictions list.