Samsung’s inclusion of fingerprint reading hardware and software for their next flagship Galaxy device have been up and down like a Flappy Bird. With rumors since back in December, at one point it was even whispered that Samsung might attempt to 1-up the competition (read: the Apple iPhone 5s) going with a retina scanner for added security. For whatever reason, Samsung would later forgo this security method, returning once again to the more easily doable fingerprint reading hardware. It was towards the tail end of January, @evleaks seemingly confirmed the move after showcasing a leaked app for the Galaxy S5 titled “FingerprintService.apk.”
New and improved home button
Even though the security feature wasn’t specifically mentioned in a purported leaked image of the Galaxy S5′s packaging, a new report out of SamMobile is not only further confirming a fingerprint scanner for the S5, but providing some details about how it will work. Because Samsung’s typically longer/thinner shaped home buttons didn’t seem well suited for a fingerprint scanner, it was suggested that Sammy would build the scanner into the phone’s display. Not the case. Yes, the home button will be making a return in the Galaxy S5 (along with the other hardware buttons) only it will be enhanced with fingerprint reading capabilities.
How will it work?
Like we mentioned before, the long shape of Samsung’s home buttons means it will scan you fingerprint differently than the iPhone 5s. Apparently, users will need to swipe their finger from bottom to top, and at a slow enough speed for the device to register it. Samsung hopes to make this easy by showing you your fingerprint as it’s being scanned in real-time. Because the scanner is sensitive to moisture, your finger will need to be nice and dry in order to avoid an error message. Hmmmm… it’s already sounding a bit finicky.
The Galaxy S5 will be able to store a total of 8 fingerprints which can be assigned to app shortcuts or launch various tasks. Samsung is even providing a new “Personal Folder” used for locking up specific apps inside. To unlock, simply scan your the assigned finger, and you’ll have access (pattern or PIN unlock can also be used). You can even register a specific finger to unlock the device in “Private Mode,” which should come in handy when handing the phone off to a friend or family member for making a quick call.
Fingerprints can also be registered to a Samsung account where they can later be used system wide, like when logging into websites. Tie this into the Google Play Store and you got yourself a winner here, Samsung.
More coming soon…
SamMobile mentions that they purposely didn’t want to leak any images of the software, in hopes of not spoiling the big reveal come February 24th in Barcelona. Of course, Phandroid will be in attendance for the big show during our Mobile World Congress coverage next week, so stay tuned.