Android smartphones can have as much cool tech as companies can dream of, but implementing it properly relies on apps. Convincing developers to support new features has always been Android’s Achillies heel, and it seems that app problem will be the case with Pixel 4’s face unlock biometrics.
Nomad case for Pixel 3
In its full review of the Pixel 4, the folks at Android Central offered an interesting tidbit about the phone’s face unlock feature. Apparently, only 5 apps in the Google Play Store currently offer support for face unlock on Pixel 4.
Specifically, those apps are Dashlane, 1Password, Keeper, Password Safe, and Robinhood. A common thread among those apps is that most of them are password managers, and LastPass says it will be updating very soon. The other is Robinhood, an investment application.
While it’s great to see these apps offering support for face unlock already, there are some crucial ones missing, banking apps especially. It took ages for all banking apps on Android to fully adopt fingerprint sensors, and it’s going to be concerning to see how long it will take for those apps to support face unlock on the Pixel 4. Even Google Pay doesn’t support the feature yet.
There is some hope though. Google deprecated the older biometric APIs that only worked with fingerprints in Android 9, and all apps updated after November 1st, 2019 are required to target Android 9 as detailed by Mishaal Rahman on Twitter. Technically, developers can ignore compatibility warnings and use the older APIs, but we’re hoping this means many will upgrade to the “BiometricPrompt” API which supports face unlock.
Google also told TechRadar that it will work with some apps to add support.
More on Pixel 4:
- Pixel 4 Review Roundup: Bad battery life overshadows otherwise great phones
- LastPass confirms face unlock support for Google’s Pixel 4
- Pixel 4 won’t support RCS messaging on Verizon or T-Mobile at launch
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