We’ve been waiting of the next version of Android for the past 6 month. Now finally, some hints are emerging as to what we can expect from the upcoming Android P. While we don’t know the name of the new Android version (and perhaps won’t get lucky with that for the next 2-3 months), we do know that it will be supporting a new type of biometric authentication natively.
Android’s Answer to Face ID
Reports are coming in that Android P might make it easier for smartphone makers to put in iris scanner technology in the front-facing camera. To recall for a second, iris scanner tech was first seen on the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone – which used the front-facing camera to scan your iris and unlock the device. The feature has continued on in the recently launched Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus along with the Galaxy Note 8.
However, Google’s native support for Iris scanner technology in Android P might mean that other smartphone makers might find it quite easy to use this feature in their own devices. Google had earlier launched face recognition technology on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich natively. But since it was riddled with a lot of bugs, a lot of smartphone users did not fully utilize that feature of Android.
To Be Available Across Android
Now reports are confirming that many commits have been found submitted to the Android Open Source Project for incorporating Iris scanning as a biometric authentication system. There is also the inclusion of a HAL interface – which is quite important in understanding as to how Android framework will be working with iris scanners.
Reports are also suggesting that not just Google, but other OEMs would be having the opportunity to implement this feature – as most of the commits are actually from software engineers who have been working for Fingerprint Cards. Devices such as those from Huawei or Xiaomi, which run on a customised implementation of Android via their respective UI’s will also be getting this feature.
Smartphone makers will be able to use the feature with Android, and also determine if there is proper support in their respective ecosystems. There were several other commits – which include the iris policies, the addition of iris feature, iris identification, and support for iris framework in keyguard.
Google is actually expected to release new details and also announce this new Android P feature at the annual Google I/O conference in 2018. There is also the possibility that the next generation of Google’s flagship Pixel smartphones will ship with iris scanning technology. With this iris scanners, many smartphone companies could finally use a more secure and better version of biometric authentication that fingerprint scanners.