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There are already a handful of Android phones that include fingerprint scanners which let you do things like unlock your device or authorize mobile payments using the unique pattern on your fingertip instead of a password. But makers of those phones have had to tack that feature onto the operating system, because fingerprint detection isn’t built into the OS… yet.

According to the folks at BuzzFeed News, it’ll be baked into the next version of Android, code-named Android M (until Google comes up with an appropriate dessert starting with the letter M). And BuzzFeed says Google could announce the feature next week during the Google I/O developer conference.

Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung Galaxy S6

Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.

  • Next version of Android could include fingerprint authentication
    It’s not clear if Google will release Android M anytime soon, but in the past the company has used I/O to tease upcoming features before they’re ready for public consumption. Also unclear? How Google’s fingerprint technology will work on Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S6 that already use a different type of fingerprint software. [BuzzFeed]
  • Mozilla is seeking beta testers for Firefox for iOS
    Want to run Firefox on a Mac? No problem. How about a PC? Sure. An Android phone? There’s an app for that. Soon Firefox will also be available for iOS… but it’ll be a very different app than the other versions, since Apple doesn’t allow developers to submit web browsers to the App Store unless they use WebKit rendering engine.  [TechCrunch]
  • Report: Apple Watch sales were super-high on day one, not so much every day since
    It’s not surprising that folks who had been waiting for the chance to order did so at the first opportunity. But what is a little surprising is just how much the sales figures slumped after launch day. They’re still probably high enough to make the Apple Watch one of the most successful smartwatches to date… which isn’t saying much. [9to5Mac]
  • Here’s one use for a cheap Android phone: Chromecast remote control
    Step one: Buy a $20 Android phone. Step 2: Don’t activate the phone features and just use it as a WiFi-only device. Step 3: lock down most of the apps and create shortcuts to the ones you want to use with your Chromecast. Similar steps can be used to turn a cheap Android phone into a clock radio, digital picture frame, or other single-purpose device. [/r/Android]
  • Adobe discontinues Photoshop Touch for Mobile
    Because who wants a full-featured photo editing app when you can have a series of apps that are more limited in functionality? [Photoshop Blog]
  • Gartner: Chromebook sales expected to hit 7.3 million in 2015
    That represents a 27 percent boost from the previous year. Chromebooks still account for a relatively small portion of all PC sales… but at a time when traditional PC shipments tend to be stagnant, it’s interesting to see that Chrome OS device sales continue to grow. [Gartner]

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15 replies on “Lilbits (5-22-2015): Android M is coming”

  1. Step 4: throw away Chromecast and get a more useful and practical device!

    1. Agreed the Chromecast wouldn’t be so bad if it had a standard implementation of miracast but it doesn’t which is the main problem not everyone has a Wi-Fi network. They could have at least done that right..

  2. Finally. Why did it take so long to add fingerprint API? I have a fingerprint scanner in my phone but there are no apps that support it and if I install different ROM fingerprint scanner becomes useless. Every manufacturer is using different fingerprint technology on Android. It is a complete mess.

    1. It took so long because Google needed to build data center capacity to store all of our fingerprint data.

  3. fingerprints can work as usernames but you still need a pass to be secure.

  4. I regularly attend a writing group in my home town, and until 9 months ago, the tools of the trade were evenly split between PC laptops and Macbooks, with a few pen and paper types thrown in.

    Then the first Chromebook user arrived, and was followed a couple of months later by another, and they are just as adamant in support of their writing tool of choice as any Mac of PC user can be.

  5. Integrated fingerprint reader? Now the NSA can build an even more robust fingerprint database and snap photos of your face to match up with them. What a great idea!

    Onto less serious topics, I hope this means we’ll get to see a new Nexus device. Preferably one that you can order, unlike the white Nexus 6 64GB model which only recently came into existence despite allegedly being pre-orderable since October of last year.

    1. Google is not making drivers for any component of Android phone. Android just has to be aware of all phone components to function properly but manufacturers are making drivers. If you are still paranoid about Android, you can check source code since Android is open source unlike most third party drivers.

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