Google is introducing fingerprint-based biometric authentication for Play Store purchases. It’s part of a larger revamp of its online app store that otherwise largely entails cosmetic changes.
Presumably intended to improve the user experience and make the app store a little more flashy, the Play Store now has a prominent carousel displaying featured apps, and sorts available apps between those classified as ‘entertainment’ and others categorized as ‘apps & games.’ But the biggest upgrade is the Play Store’s embrace of fingerprint authentication, allowing users to confirm purchases by scanning their fingers.
It’s simultaneously the least noticeable change, as it won’t be available to most users. Fingerprint-based purchases are only supported on devices featuring fingerprint scanners and running Android 6.0, which features native fingerprint scanning capabilities in its API. As 9to5Google points out, that limits the feature to Google’s latest smartphones, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. But that’s obviously going to change as more Android Marshmallow devices hit the market, especially given that fingerprint sensors are quickly becoming standard features on mid- and high-end mobile devices.