Google recently released the fourth beta of Android Q, the next major update for the Android operating system. As always, people went ahead and installed it on their test devices. Upon investigation of the software, it was discovered that Google has taken further initiatives to prepare for an introduction of much more secure facial recognition as a part of Android itself.
9to5Google was first to point out a new feature within Android Q that will let you use facial recognition to authenticate purchases, sign into apps, and more. Typically, when you get face unlock on an Android phone, it alerts you that it isn’t very secure and you won’t be able to use it to buy things or log into apps. But now that that very functionality will be built directly into Android Q, it’s pretty safe to say that Android phones with face unlock will be much more secure than they have been historically.
Software’s only half the story. Manufacturers are gonna have to supply the necessary hardware to make securely identifying a face possible. So far, we haven’t seen very many OEMs use the technology in the past. In fact, there’s only one major manufacturer that comes to mind, and it’s basically on its way out since it had its Google license revoked. So while the necessary software may be on its way, it might take a minute for OEMs to cook up the hardware required to make these features work.
By introducing the proper support for such hardware, Google is giving Android OEMs a proper road to rivaling with Apple’s Face ID which has been used on iPhones and iPads since 2017. Nothing has come close to Face ID in terms of functionality and security, so perhaps Android Q will help to bring a solid competitor or two to the table.
Google will release Android Q to the public this August, after which we should begin seeing the first few devices with the software onboard out of the box.