Here’s why the Nexus 6P and 5X won’t get fingerprint gestures

Nexus 6P Fingerprint Sensor

Toast Nexus 6P wood skin DSC00488

One of the great new features of Google’s Pixel phones is the fingerprint gestures that have been added to give you additional ways to perform tasks with the device. Some Nexus owners expected to see those features brought over to last year’s Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, but Google has stated it has no intention of doing so.

This sparked a controversy on Reddit that accused Google of lying about being unable to bring the feature to last year’s devices, considering the fingerprint sensor found on the Pixels and the Nexus 6P is the exact same hardware. Despite that, a kernel developer at Google commented in another thread discussing the issue to address why last year’s devices aren’t getting fingerprint swipe gestures.

To clarify this point, bullhead and angler use similar hardware but older versions of firmware that don’t have gesture support. Updating the firmware used and HAL and some other stuff will take some effort. Doable.

So it’s not entirely impossible but likely won’t happen because Google has other priorities than bringing new features to its old Nexus devices. Whether this seems justified or not is entirely subjective, as obviously Google has a new product to sell and that takes precedent over making sure last year’s customers are still happy.

If you’re a Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X owner who wants fingerprint swipe gestures, there are third-party apps that give your phone this functionality. We covered one of them yesterday called Fingerprint Quick Action, which gives you both a fingerprint quick swipe and a fingerprint tap gesture and plenty of options.

Writer, gamer, and classical music whistler. I have an undying love of indie games and unique apps.

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