Google Pixel 7 supports face and fingerprint biometric unlock
The Google Pixel 7 is officially out today. Despite multiple leaks suggesting the devices will not be a substantial upgrade over the Pixel 6 series, the new Pixel phones do feature face biometrics capabilities.
The facial unlock support is listed on Google’s pre-order page for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which are now officially available. Also, Android expert Mishaal Rahman managed to pull the information out of Google Play Console last week before the company took it down ahead of the official launch.
According to the listing, both Pixel 7 and 7 Pro support “android.hardware.biometrics.face,” which confirms that biometric face unlocking is present on the devices.
At the time of writing, it is not yet clear how the smartphones will achieve this functionality at a more technical level.
However, Google officially confirmed today the Pixel 7 line will support face unlock ‘via machine learning models’ on its new Tensor G2 chip, which the company says is up to 60 percent faster and up to 20 percent more efficient than Google’s previous flagship line. Biometric data appears to be stored in Google’s Titan M2 security chip.
At the Made by Google Launch conference, the company also confirmed the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will feature an under-display fingerprint sensor, just like the Pixel 6 line (but hopefully faster).
The last Google phones supporting native face biometric unlock were the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.
As explained by Android Police, the face biometric capabilities in the Pixel 7 lines could be hardware-based.
Google is expected to update the Pixel 7 line store page with more details soon, which should also include information about the devices’ biometric unlock capabilities.
Touch ID may not return to flagship iPhones
At the other side of the smartphone war is Apple, which seems to have ditched a possible return of Touch ID on its devices.
In fact, the recently released iPhone 14 lineup does not support fingerprint biometric unlocking. The devices do not have fingerprint sensors at all.
According to a recent analysis by Bloomberg (and discussed on Apple Insider), the iPhone maker has been teasing the return of finger biometric unlock on its devices for a while, but it is unlikely the chatter will translate into reality any soon,
Still, according to Sunday’s Bloomberg ‘Power On’ newsletter, Mark Gurman writes that Apple has been discussing the technology again.
And while it is unlikely Touch ID will return to flagship iPhones any soon, Gurman believes a power button featuring Touch ID could still be integrated on lower-end models, including the iPhone SE.