This year’s Google I/O conference will take place at the end of next week, on May 28-29, and it’s said to bring a lot of news regarding the upcoming Android M version. Google is also expected to discouss about aew Google Glass device, the updates on Android One, a new Chromecast and much more.
Now, a fresh rumor from BuzzFeed suggests that the upcoming Android M software version will feature native support for fingerprint authentication. Of course, there are already plenty of Android device which feature fingerprint readers but they are using software built specifically by the OEM. With this new native feature, Google wants to make it easier for phone-making companies to include a fingerprint scanner in their devices.
ArsTechnica too says that there have been hints in AOSP (Android Open Source Project, the Google leaded project for Android) that fingerprint readers were a planned feature. The publication says Google was working on the:
setup and enrollment process, a fingerprint lock screen, and a “service to manage multiple clients that want to access the fingerprint HAL API
Ron Amadeo with the publication further adds:
a Google-standardized API would encourage the entire Android ecosystem to finally jump onboard the fingerprint bandwagon. Widely used Google apps like the Play Store would support it, and it would even open up the possibility for Chrome to fingerprint website logins. A Google API would be stable enough and universally supported enough that third-party apps would begin to support it.
If Google does decide to announce fingerprint reader support at I/O, then chance are they will release preview build of Android M just like it happened with Android L back in 2014. But it also needs pointing out that Google currently has no device with a fingerprint sensor, even if the Nexus 6 was very close to getting one.
So, taking this into account, it makes sense for Google to announce this feature when it has a device with a fingerprint reader, as well, so that it could take the chance to promote it. But as Google usually releases its Nexus devices around fall, then we could wait for a little longer. Or, who knows, maybe they will surprise us and announce a new device at the event from next week. Whatever happens, we’re going to be here to report it.