Google’s Play Store app has been updated in anticipation of the release of the new Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system. Version 5.9 of the app contains a few interesting hints about what’s in store.
In addition to what look to be refined GPS and app management capabilities, the new version contains code that appears to relate to fingerprint authentication for purchases made using Android Marshmallow devices. That, of course, fits perfectly with previous reports that the new operating system would feature native fingerprint scanning capabilities built into its API.
That also tracks with broader trends in the world of smartphones and mPayments as rivals are emerging to take on the dominant Apple Pay mPayment platform, seeking to emulate that system’s approach in using biometric authentication for payments. Apple’s pioneering Touch ID system helped to make fingerprint sensors standard features on all new mid- and high-end smartphones, and the technology offers a convenient means of user authentication for mPayments. Of course, in the case of Android Marshmallow, the code uncovered thus far could potentially have other applications too, such as authenticating online purchases and so on.
While some apps have started to embrace multimodal biometric authentication for added security, it isn’t yet clear whether the forthcoming Android Pay will do the same. But it is increasingly clear that at the very least it’s going to employ fingerprint-based authentication for online purchases, and that will offer a baseline level of security and convenience for users.