Google Android M Adding Native Fingerprint Authentication For Smartphones

With Google's I/O conference set to kick off later this week, the anticipation surrounding its upcoming OS, Android M, is growing fast. While we just learned that M internally stands for Macadamia Nut Cookie, we have doubts this OS release will crumble. Whereas Lollipop represented a major overhaul of the OS, Android M will refine what's there, and then toss in some cool new features (at least, we hope). As we discovered earlier this month, it seems like Android M could have a big business focus.

Perhaps that business focus ties into the bit of information leaked late last week, claiming that Android M will have native fingerprint authentication. Unlocking a phone with a fingerprint isn't new, but with the feature baked into the Android OS, it stands to reason that we might see more vendors jump on board.


We're likely to see this implementation allow you to unlock your phone with either your fingerprint or password, though I hope it's encouraged that people use both - especially in the enterprise. If you're not too concerned about someone discovering what's on your phone, the added hassle might not be worth it. But if sensitive information resides there, we could see some companies making it mandatory that devices have this dual protection -- that way, even if someone discovers the phone and cracks the password, they're still not getting in.

Google I/O starts on Thursday, and something tells me that despite the limited amount of time, this won't be the last leak we hear about in advance of the event.