Leaked code indicates Android Q to natively support 3D facial biometric hardware

Android appears to be working on native support for advanced biometric facial recognition hardware in Android Q, according to XDA-Developers.

XDA-Developers Editor in Chief Mishaal Rahman used JEB Decompiler to analyze a leaked OASP build of the as-yet unreleased Android Q, and spotted a series of strings related to facial unlocking in Android Q’s framework-res APK, some of which are for error messages in the event that facial recognition hardware is not detected. This and other details lead Rahman to conclude that the mentions of facial recognition in Android Q are referring to a new feature, rather than the legacy “Trusted Face” feature.

So far, Android devices with 3D facial recognition, like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition, required manufacturers had to add custom code to the ROMs, which could lead to fragmentation. Rumors have suggested Android would add native 3D facial biometric support since last year, and Face ID still seems to enjoy a lead in the security and perceived maturity of its technology for the moment, but the strings viewed by XDA-Developers refer to using facial biometrics to authorize payments and sign in to apps.

Rahman points out that the code does not mean that 3D facial recognition is coming to the Google Pixel 4, but rather than those manufacturers using specialized biometric hardware can integrate it without bringing their own code.

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