Google is looking to cover its biometric bases with the next version of its Android mobile operating system: The latest Developer Preview for “Android P”, as it is tentatively known, features a new API for biometric authentication that supports facial, fingerprint, and iris recognition.
This means that developers who are working with Android P will use a new prompt for biometric authentication, called, appropriately, “BiometricPrompt”. As Android Police reports, this replaces the previous “FingerprintDialog” prompt that was previously used to enable a biometric authentication process.
The switch reflects a broader shift in mobile biometrics. A product of its time, FingerprintDialog was developed to accommodate the proliferation of fingerprint sensors across a wide range of mobile devices, including a great many Android phones. But things have changed, with new devices embracing facial and iris recognition, sometimes as a replacement of fingerprint scanning and sometimes as a complement to it.
That being the case, Google is trying to make sure that the next version of its mobile operating system makes it easy for developers to leverage all kinds of biometrics with a single permission in its API, “USE_BIOMETRIC”, and its associated BiometricPrompt. It’s a logical move as mobile biometric technologies continue to evolve beyond fingerprint recognition, which could end up getting outpaced by new modalities as quickly as it took over the smartphone world.
Source: Android Police