Most phones these days have fingerprint readers on them but manufacturers often only use them to unlock the phone and for in-app security (such as Play Store purchases, unlocking bank app etc). Some enterprising manufacturers such a Huawei with the Honor 8 have started adding the ability to perform various actions via gestures on the fingerprint reader. Google have also added it in to their new Pixel devices, allowing a swipe on the fingerprint scanner to open notifications.
Now you can have them on your device, whatever it is.
What began life as a simple app to just put the device to sleep with MIUI ROMs has turned into much more. Over at XDA Alex Zhang has posted his app (including the source for those who want to know exactly what they are installing) called Fingerprint Quick Action. The app requires Accessibility access to “detect interface switching and perform some quick actions” but does not require access to work unless you want to simulate the power button press to turn the display off without activating Smart Lock. If you do not have root access then fingerprint reader will not unlock the phone if turned off with the fingerprint reader.
For apps that use the fingerprint scanner for unlocking sections of them such as Last Pass, Banking apps, the Play Store etc Fingerprint Quick Action will be temporarily disabled while the app is waiting for a fingerprint to unlock it.
As per usual, I have tested this app on several devices including the Pixel XL, the Nexus 6P and the Moto Z and it worked for all actions and also disabled correctly to allow scanning into apps such as Bendigo Bank app and Last Pass. Word of warning though, while the app worked perfectly on the Nexus 6P and the Pixel XL it made the home button sluggish and non-responsive for the first press more of the time on the Moto Z.
The actions available for each gesture (both single tap with display already unlocked and on and fast swipe) at this stage are:
- Sleep (display off and lock)
- Go back
- Go home
- Show recent apps
- Show power menu
- Toggle split screen
- Expand notifications panel
- Toggle notifications panel
- Expand quick settings
This app is still relatively early in it’s development so YMMV, but the developer plans on adding to the app more quick actions, a double tap action, a per fingerprint action option, and also Xposed Framework implementation. If your device has a fingerprint sensor I recommend heading over to XDA and checking it out.
Let us know in the comments how you go.