It is hard to come across any flagship phone that has no support for fingerprint authentication. This feature has grown to become a standard and in fact, OEMs are now making it one of their major USPs as far as smartphones are concerned.
The latest to do this is Google with its new Pixel and Pixel XL phones. These two handsets, like the Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, come with a fingerprint scanner on the back panel. However, there is more you get from the 2016 handsets’ fingerprint sensor as compared to the 2015 models. Usually, software updates would do the trick, but recently, Google had pointed out that bringing the fingerprint features of the Pixel phones to the Nexus 6P and 5X would require a new fingerprint sensor.
Well, this report was recently quashed away, with a company employee confirming that this feature can actually be added to the Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X via a firmware update. This was in support of a discovery made by an avid user who noted that the Google Pixel, Pixel XL and Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P all have the same fingerprint scanner, but due to their different software configurations, it means the latter group doesn’t support fingerprint gestures.
In case you are still wondering, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL fingerprint scanners allow users swipe to reveal the notification shade. Since the Pixel phones come preinstalled with Android 7.1 Nougat, it was initially thought that updating the Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X to the latest Nougat version will also bring this capability on board – but it didn’t.
However, Google is reportedly “evaluating” the probability of coming in with a software update that will bring the support for fingerprint gestures on these two 2015 Nexus phones. Apparently, this entire process requires time, energy and a lot of resources – all of which Google might be unwilling to commit to.
Nonetheless, it would be a welcome feature for current Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X users, especially if it doesn’t involve the pain of having to go through third-party mods, like the case of the Night Mode feature on Android 7.1.1 Nougat beta.