Google's plans for better face recognition have been known for a while. After all, Apple's Face ID is so good that Google has to do something to play catch-up. According to teardowns by both 9to5Google and XDA Developers, new "face authentication" labels (strings) for settings options are hidden in Android Q Beta 4, and a search of the Settings app is showing related settings for some. Read More
We're likely a couple of months away from the first developer preview build of Android Q, but already we know a fair amount about what to expect from the next major version. Most excitingly, we could be finally getting a system-wide dark mode. We can now say with a greater degree of certainty that Android Q will carry the version number 10, plus we've learned a few more tidbits. Read More
Both XDA Developers and 9to5Google have spotted another upcoming feature in Android Q: more secure native facial recognition. Think Apple's Face ID rather than Android's existing Trusted Face system. Other OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei have already shoehorned in their own facial recognition solutions, but now Google is bringing the feature to the (literal) source. Read More
Facial recognition on Android isn't the most robust method of securing your phone; it even says as much when you set it up. It shouldn't be very surprising, then, that it can be fooled by what is probably the least likely thing someone trying to get into your device will have access to: a lifelike, 3D-printed replica of your head. Read More
Here at CES 2018, I had a chance to look at what some of us probably considered mere fantasy a few short years ago: a fingerprint scanner that can see through a smartphone display. It sounds like something that must be so complex it would be beyond explanation, but really, the basic principles aren't terribly difficult to grasp.
The short of it is this: smartphone screens are light-permeable, because they are porous. The thinner the display, the more light-permeable it probably is, and OLED screens are the thinnest currently being manufactured. By shining a bright enough light through the porous display, a sensor can observe the reflection of your fingerprint against the display components and use that to create a computer-readable image. Read More