Beyond Samsung, no one really knows what’s coming from their launch at MWC, but plenty are speculating, and that speculation includes the Galaxy S5. The rumours are coming thick and fast, but the latest — and supposedly ‘confirmed’ — rumour is that the Galaxy S5 will feature a fingerprint scanner integrated with the hardware home button.
This might sound very similar to something that Apple did with the iPhone 5S, and you’d be forgiven for thinking so (because you’re right). There’s quite a bit of detail to this rumour, so let’s get into it.
If there’s a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button, this means that the Galaxy S5 still has hardware buttons… or at the very least, a hardware home button. This is a bit of a shame (with most other handsets moving to the on-screen keys), but an integrated fingerprint scanning option could make it bearable. It appears it won’t work quite the same as the iPhone 5S design, requiring a swipe of the fingerprint rather than just a press. To make this a little easier to get right, the Galaxy S5 will show the fingerprint scan progress on-screen to make sure you’ve got your finger lined up correctly.
Like the HTC One Max, you’ll be able to record more than one fingerprint — up to eight, in fact — and each one will be able to be assigned to a different task, although one must be assigned to unlocking the device. Fingerprints can be assigned to things like launching the camera, Gmail, or any other app.
They have use beyond launching quick tasks, it seems. Fingerprints will be able to unlock a new ‘private apps’ mode, where sensitive information and applications can be hidden behind a fingerprint requirement (or, indeed, a standard Android security requirement such as a swipe or PIN entry). Samsung Accounts will also be able to be linked to a fingerprint, as well as auto-complete on websites.
Sounds like they’ve made the fingerprint scanner a lot more useful than HTC did on the One Max, and it’s at the point where a hardware home key almost sounds good. Let’s see what happens in a week or two!