Fingerprint recognition Stories August 17, 2015

Photo of rumored 2015 LG Nexus 5 leaked

LG and Google are purportedly working together to release a revamped version of the Nexus 5 for 2015. We’ve already seen a number of supposed specifications, a case leak and a detailed 3D render based on detailed schematics. But we hadn’t seen any real evidence of the device being real. Until now.

Fingerprint recognition Stories August 12, 2015

Both LG and Huawei Nexus phones rumored to share features, including USB Type-C, fingerprint sensor, more

Well-known leakster, Steve Hemmerstoffer has leaked further information regarding the upcoming purported Nexus devices. Using his OnLeaks account, he shared some detailed specifications an features of both the rumored smaller LG device and larger Huawei-made smartphone.

Information passed to Steve by his sources suggests that both phones will feature front-firing speakers, USB Type-C compatibility and a fingerprint sensor on the back. Although both are rumored to likely feature a metal chassis, the dimensions will be different. LG’s Nexus is purported to measure in at 9.8mm thick, 147mm tall and 73mm wide while the Huawei device is allegedly going to be 8.5mm thick and measure at around 12.5mm taller and 5mm wider than LG’s Pure Google phone.

Fingerprint recognition Stories August 11, 2015

HTC One Max fingerprint sensor data left unsecured for apps to see

A report from FireEye Labs (a security firm) reveals that some smartphones with fingerprint sensors aren’t as secure as we’d like them to be. The one device named specifically was the HTC One Max which was supposed to store fingerprint data in a secure enclave that no one could get to. Turns out, that wasn’t the case and any app could have potentially gained access to the fingerprint data and even recreated a bitmap image of the fingerprints stored. Thankfully, HTC fixed the gaping hole “in all regions” before the report went public.

FireEye shared images they managed to gain access to inside the HTC One Max, and cropped them to protect the identity of the owners. What you see to the left is just a small portion of someone’s fingerprint. Data obtained through the One Max’s supposedly ‘secure’ enclave. If there’s one small comfort to be taken from this, it’s that the HTC One Max isn’t the most popular phone around, and by now, it’s also relatively old. What’s more, HTC told The Verge that the flaw was only present in the HTC One Max, and doesn’t effect any of its other phones or devices.

While the One Max is the only device specifically named in the vulnerability report, the company does suggest devices from other manufacturers suffer(ed) with the same issue. What’s more, another issue present in a number of devices was a vulnerability which could potentially allow any app to interrupt the fingerprint scanning process as a user was using the sensor. If taken advantage of, this would see software with the ability to take fingerprint data as it’s being read, in real-time.

All devices mentioned (including the Galaxy S5) and others hinted at, have all be locked down since the vulnerability was discovered. When it comes to fingerprint data, we like to think that the information is being treated with paramount focus. Once someone gets your fingerprint data, there’s not a lot you can do about it. You can’t change it like a PIN, password or pattern.

Fingerprint recognition Stories July 23, 2015

Screenshot 2015-07-23 at 10.10.14

There’s no getting away from OnePlus‘ effect on the market. From the very beginning it planned to be disruptive and offer consumers what they really wanted: A flagship phone at a low price. Despite controversies and frustrations over its marketing and invite-based purchases, OnePlus has gone on to sell over 1.3 million units of its first smartphone. That may not seem like much in a market where companies sell millions of phones. But this is just one phone, made by one small company that most consumers still haven’t heard of.

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Fingerprint recognition Stories July 21, 2015

New sensor technology could allow fingerprint unlock through your smartphone screen

Unlocking smartphones by fingerprint has been possible since the Motorola Atrix 2 back in 2011, with both Samsung and HTC embedding fingerprint sensors into some of their more recent models, but the process could get a whole lot slicker thanks to some new tech.

While current sensors need some space beneath the display, future smartphones could read your fingerprint through the screen. TNW reports that Sonovation has developed ultrasonic fingerprint sensors capable of 3D scanning from beneath the Gorilla Glass used on many high-end smartphones.

Though details on how it will work are sparse, Sonovation says its sensors are “capable of capturing fingerprint data into the ridges and valleys.” It also says 3D scanning can take place if a finger is wet, dirty or oily — all without compromising accuracy.

Google built fingerprint recognition into Android M, making it likely that we’ll see more Android devices launching with fingerprint sensors in future.

Image: PC Mag

Fingerprint recognition Stories April 10, 2015

LastPass Android app updated to Material Design, Galaxy S6/edge owners get Premium free

The LastPass password manager app has been given a Material Design makeover, and the company has partnered with Samsung to provide Galaxy S6/edge owners with between three and six months of free Premium membership, allowing cross-device use.

On smartphones with fingerprint sensors, you can unlock the app with your fingerprint and then enter passwords automatically. Autofill of passwords and form data is available in the Android version of Chrome, as well as the LastPass browser.

If you’re an S6 owner, check the LastPass app to see the local Premium offer for your region.

Fingerprint recognition Stories January 26, 2015

Rumored fingerprint reader in Nexus 6 was real until Apple killed it, reveals former Motorola CEO

The fingerprint reader widely rumored before the launch of the Nexus 6 was indeed part of the plan, confirmed former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside. Speaking to the Telegraph, Woodside said that the dimple on the back of the handset was originally intended to be a fingerprint reader, but they were stymied by Apple’s purchase of biometrics company AuthenTec back in 2012.

Indeed, the 6-inch Nexus 6, he can now admit, was stymied by just one of those big players. A dimple on the back that helps users hold the device should, in fact, have been rather more sophisticated. “The secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren’t there yet,” says Woodside.

It’s believed a fingerprint reader was included in internal prototypes, before it was abandoned. Woodside’s comments provide the explanation, Motorola originally intending to buy or license the sensor from AuthenTec. Motorola of course pioneered the smartphone fingerprint reader with the “Atrix” in 2012.

Fingerprint recognition Stories July 18, 2014

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Leaker @evleaks this morning posted a tweet featuring some interesting APKs from the upcoming Galaxy Note 4 that reveals information about its hardware and software.

The list includes the usual suspects, such as S Health, S Music, and Samsung Link software, but two of the APKs might pique your interest. “SStudio_WQHD_K.apk” implies the new phablet will sport a highly rumored WQHD display, giving the display a resolution of 2560×1440. Also on the list is an APK titled “FingerprintService.apk”, strongly implying the fingerprint reader currently found on the Galaxy S5 will be expanding over to the Note line as well.

Other features such as “PhotoTable.apk” and “SmartSelfShot.apk” were also leaked, but it’s no surprise Samsung is going to be adding even more photo modes to the already saturated list.  expand full story

Fingerprint recognition Stories April 15, 2014

The same German security researchers who demonstrated a hack of the iPhone 5s Touch ID fingerprint sensor have released a video showing that the same hack also works with the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The hack relies on photographing a latent print from something like a glass in a bar, then using lab techniques to transfer the image of the print into wood glue, which is then applied to someone else’s finger to activate the sensor …  expand full story

Fingerprint recognition Stories February 25, 2014

Samsung illustrates the evolution of its Galaxy S series in a new infographic

Samsung has posted an infographic providing a visual history of its Galaxy S series of smartphones following the launch of the new Galaxy S5.

It’s a slightly surprising move, serving to draw attention to the relatively modest boost in specs of the latest model, with a tiny increase in screen size, small bump in processing power and a bit more battery life (likely accounting for most of the weight gain), with the increase in camera resolution from 13 to 16MP the only substantial improvement shown.

No mention is made of the fingerprint scanner and heart-rate sensor that were the most notable new features.

Fingerprint recognition Stories November 13, 2013

max

Although no official launch date has been given for HTC’s new phablet, a Best Buy webpage suggests the HTC One Max will be available on Friday. It is priced at $249 with a two-year contract, and is available now for pre-order.

The device was officially announced a month ago, though we had a pretty good idea what to expect as long ago as July …  expand full story

Fingerprint recognition Stories October 8, 2013

HTC One Max fingerprint sensor confirmed, launches on 15th October (oops …)

Rumors that the HTC One Max would have a fingerprint sensor (that we first reported back in August) are now all but confirmed by a launch invitation from HTC containing the phrase “One finger opens up a big view.” The two lines of text seemingly promote three aspects of the device:

One finger opens up a big view

You are invited to immerse in the sound with us

A fingerprint scanner, large display (of course) and BoomSound front speakers.

The WSJ also reports two different sources as confirming the fingerprint sensor.

HTC hasn’t been enjoying the best of luck recently.  Senior departures, including its COO; a halving of market share since 2011; former UK execs setting up a rival company; alleged theft of trade secrets by several lead designers; and the first ever loss in the company’s history. Its luck doesn’t seem to be improving. The 15th October date the company has chosen for the launch just may find it struggling to see much media coverage: it’s the rumored date of Apple’s launch of new iPads, Macs and more … Update: The Apple rumor was wrong, the iPad launch is on 22nd October.

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