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The Nexus 6 almost had a fingerprint scanner, according to the Android source code

The Nexus 6 almost had a fingerprint scanner, according to the Android source code
There are some ideas that Google has for its Nexus devices that don't quite make it to production. We've already seen that tap-to-wake had been coded for the Nexus 6, but pulled at the last minute (and can now be re-enabled by some hackery, if you've rooted). Now, there is some Android source code that is indicating that the Nexus 6 almost had a fingerprint scanner. Not only that, but the code indicates that Google was (and still is) working on an official fingerprint API for Android. 

Noted code sleuth Ron Amadeo has dug through the commits to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and found the evidence. There was a commit from late August that was blatantly labeled as "shamu: remove fingerprint support", which implied that prototypes had been using a fingerprint scanner from Validity Sensors, Inc, a company that was acquired by Synaptics last year. The company has shown off clear touchscreen-based fingerprint scanners in the past, which are pretty cool and wouldn't require the big bezel that you'll find on an iPhone. 

There are also commits to AOSP which were used to hide the fingerprint API code in Lollipop "until new API is ready". There were indications that it would be a swipe style fingerprint scanner similar to those used by Samsung, rather than the TouchID sensor on an iPhone. And, part of the code pointed to functionality which would allow you to access or authenticate specific apps with your fingerprint. 

It all sounds pretty sweet. It's just a shame it didn't make it in time for the Nexus 6 release. We'd say that it wouldn't be a surprise to see that fingerprint API in Android 5.1 next year though. 

source: Ars Technica

22 Comments
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posted on 08 Dec 2014, 21:44 10

1. Neo_Huang (Posts: 1067; Member since: 06 Dec 2013)


Non-swipe fingerprint scanner or nothing at all.

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 21:54

3. vincelongman (Posts: 4101; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Also fingerprint reader should be on the back
E.g. where the Moto dimple is or LG's back buttons
So no big bottom bezel, which leads to a big top bezel for symmetry, and an overall taller phone
E.g. the 5.5" 6+ is as tall as the 6" Nexus 6 with front stereo speakers
Especially since this 6" phablet is already too big for many people

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 04:05

18. rihel_95 (Posts: 301; Member since: 21 Mar 2012)


I am actually waiting for an on-screen finger-print scanner. No need of extra space then.

(Another possibility can be the camera lens as a sensor, though its unlikely and leave smudges on the lens)

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 05:53

19. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


The screen would have to be extra sensitive, which may drain more battery life than necessary

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 21:49 1

2. Derekjeter (Posts: 809; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


When will the Nexus 6 come to Verizon???? I thought Google said every major carrier was going to get it.

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 22:15

4. wafflemuncherr (Posts: 19; Member since: 29 May 2013)


My buddy got one through Google and was able to pop in his nanoSim and have it work through Verizon. I was just playing with it the other day. Beastly.

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 23:19

7. Derekjeter (Posts: 809; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


WTF?!??!?! Really?

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 00:07

9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Yeah. I thought you would have known this?

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 01:31

15. Derekjeter (Posts: 809; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Can you get full LTE with the Verizon sim? I can't find anything on the web about it working on Verizon

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 01:38

16. Derekjeter (Posts: 809; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Holy sh!t I just found a video that shows it works full LTE and everything!! I'm selling my note right now Nexus here a come

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 17:59

22. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1717; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I can confirm it is working for me as well. I couldn't wait until Verizon decided to sell it with their bloat and logo most likely.

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 22:40

5. somad (Posts: 169; Member since: 17 Apr 2014)


So Verizon the last come to party! !

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 23:00 2

6. jjjsong (Posts: 74; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


I really don't care for finger print at all. Seems gimmicky and a waste of money.

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 00:08 4

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


How is it a waste of money...?

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 00:20 2

11. jjjsong (Posts: 74; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


to have them manufactured and put in the phone. also a waste of space, too!

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 00:34 3

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Cost from iPhone 5 to 5S increased but sold at the same price. What's your reasoning for that?

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 00:42 2

14. jjjsong (Posts: 74; Member since: 27 Dec 2011)


I don't know? probably they were able to reduce the manufacturing cost somewhere, like using the same screen.

And this has nothing to do with the iphone5 or 5s.

If they were to add more components in the nexus 6 then there will be more manufacturing cost, even if it's just 10cents more. And the cost will come down to the consumers one way or the other.

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 00:21

12. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


Nexus 6 would not have costed $50 more if it had fingerprint scanner, so as far as I'm concerned it's waste of money for consumer for not having it. In Motorola point of view, yeah, it might have been waste of money, but on the other hand it would've been great for marketing and consumers and maybe even overall satisfaction of phone, because it's quite useful and "premium" feature.

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 03:07

17. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3713; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


Not seeing your logic here. Every single phone that launched with a fingerprint scanner cost no more than its previous iteration. For example, the 5S, S5, & Note 4 all cost the same at launch as the 5, S4, & Note 3, respectively. Granted, you can't make the same direct comparison between the Nexus 6 & 5, but it doesn't necessarily make sense to assume a simple fingerprint scanner would have hiked the price up either.

posted on 08 Dec 2014, 23:28

8. EC112987 (Posts: 523; Member since: 10 Nov 2014)


I'm still mad the AT&T N6 didn't work properly and they wanted me to wait 3 weeks for a replacement. :( fingerprint is convenient but sucks on The Note 4. The iPhone scanner works best for me but I have sausage fingers lol

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 08:05

20. jasonmadura161 (Posts: 12; Member since: 08 Oct 2013)


The Nexus 6 almost had an actual launch where people could buy it too! Imagine that.... All this stuff it has and almost had.... yet.... is any of it relevant as it is damn near unobtainable? Please save me the "cop-outs" of "be patient" and the "they didn't expect the demands." Move along trolls....

posted on 09 Dec 2014, 17:15

21. Blazers (Posts: 420; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I really wanted to get the Nexus 6, but the lack of an IR blaster is a deal breaker for me. I've gotten so used to using my phone as a replacement remote, I can't go back.

I could careless about the lack of a fingerprint scanner....

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