Mon. Dec 9th, 2019

Android Q playing catch-up with iOS 13, might offer native face unlock support

Due to the lack of native support from Google, Android smartphone manufacturers have resorted to their own versions of facial unlocking technologies. (Reuters)

Google is a few months away from launching the latest version of its mobile OS—Android Q. The OS is currently in its beta stages, with new improvements and features creeping up all the time.

The latest developer beta comes with a “Face Authentication” entry in its settings menu, which indicates the software major feels the authentication method should be standardised.

According to 9to5Google, the feature will support using your face to unlock the device, sign into apps, and make payments. This is very similar to Apple’s Face ID technology, which will soon receive an update that will make it twice as fast.

9to5Google found a new icon related to Face authentication in the settings, as well as code strings that allow users to permanently delete face data from their devices.

Due to the lack of native support from Google, Android smartphone manufacturers have resorted to their own versions of facial unlocking technologies. Since each of one these manufacturers have their own implementations, results are often inconsistent.

Native support from Google would likely make the experience more consistent across Android, however, it might have its own issues. The Huawei Mate 20, for instance, comes with an innovative 3D face unlock technology. The inner and outer workings of this technology is very different from the 2D face unlock found in most other Android devices. To make the experience truly consistent (and hence match Apple’s standards), Google will include this in its code as well.

If you wish to try out the Android Q developer beta, you’ll first have to enrol yourself in the beta programme. You can read more about it here.

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