Friday, May 22, 2015

Fingerprint Authentication

Google's yearly I/O conference is taking place at the end of next week, and if a recent report is worth taking into consideration, then we might witness the new fingerprint authentication feature being released with Android M

This year’s Google I/O conference will take place at the end of next week, on May 28-29, and it’s said to bring a lot of news regarding the upcoming Android M version. Google is also expected to discouss about aew Google Glass device, the updates on Android One, a new Chromecast and much more.

Now, a fresh rumor from BuzzFeed suggests that the upcoming Android M software version will feature native support for fingerprint authentication. Of course, there are already plenty of Android device which feature fingerprint readers but they are using software built specifically by the OEM. With this new native feature, Google wants to make it easier for phone-making companies to include a fingerprint scanner in their devices.

ArsTechnica too says that there have been hints in AOSP (Android Open Source Project, the Google leaded project for Android) that fingerprint readers were a planned feature. The publication says Google was working on the:

setup and enrollment process, a fingerprint lock screen, and a “service to manage multiple clients that want to access the fingerprint HAL API

Ron Amadeo with the publication further adds:

a Google-standardized API would encourage the entire Android ecosystem to finally jump onboard the fingerprint bandwagon. Widely used Google apps like the Play Store would support it, and it would even open up the possibility for Chrome to fingerprint website logins. A Google API would be stable enough and universally supported enough that third-party apps would begin to support it.

If Google does decide to announce fingerprint reader support at I/O, then chance are they will release preview build of Android M just like it happened with Android L back in 2014. But it also needs pointing out that Google currently has no device with a fingerprint sensor, even if the Nexus 6 was very close to getting one.

So, taking this into account, it makes sense for Google to announce this feature when it has a device with a fingerprint reader, as well, so that it could take the chance to promote it. But as Google usually releases its Nexus devices around fall, then we could wait for a little longer. Or, who knows, maybe they will surprise us and announce a new device at the event from next week. Whatever happens, we’re going to be here to report it.

Native Fingerprint Authentication In Android M

Google appears ready to tackle Tizen, HomeKit with its own IoT platform

It's not terribly surprising that Google wants to connect everything to the web. After all, more web usage, particularly with Google search and apps, leads to more information for the company. And that in turn leads to more potential revenue through targeted advertisements.

What may be more surprising is a new Google platform specifically for the Internet of Things (IoT): The Information reported that Google is working on software called Brillo for that very reason. I would have thought Android, or at least parts of it, could be the underlying IoT platform.

Perhaps Android is too "heavy", however.

By that I mean the software has relatively hefty hardware requirements compared to a smart light switch, garage door opener, doorbell, or smart electricity meter. Brillo could run on devices with as little as 32 to 64 MB of memory while phones minimally have ten times or more memory.

Google actually headed down a similar path in the past. You'll be forgiven if you don't: The platform was introduced at the 2011 Google I/O Developer event and never amounted any tangible products.

The landscape has changed much in four years, however.

Now, we're on the verge of seeing products that support Apple's year-old HomeKit platform, for example. And at a January Consumer Electronics Show keynote address, Samsung announced its Tizen software would be central to the company's IoT strategy. There are now more competitors in this space and we're seeing actual progress in it.

Google itself has made some of that progress, at least on the hardware side. The company bought Next for $3.2 billion and later added DropCam to its acquisition list.

It could be that some of the old Android@Home bits will live on in Brillo but that's the least of my questions.

I'm wondering how open Brillo will actually be since Apple and Samsung are making a platform play here: It's near a certainty that you'll need an iOS device for HomeKit, for example.

Will Google, which touts more openness than its peers, lock users in with Android for Brillo or will it provide a truly open framework?

And how will Google entice hardware partners to embrace Brillo? Samsung faces less of a challenge here because it is its own best hardware partner: The company makes televisions, household appliances, computers and more that could work with Tizen.

As I said, Google has meandered down this road before. Let's see what it announces at next week's Google I/O event to see if the company is any farther along towards a final destination.

Brillo a Homekit From Google

Hi-Tech Talk © 2015 - Designed by