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More evidence suggests Pixel 6 could get in-display fingerprint sensor (Update)

UPDATE: Android 12 beta's in-display fingerprint unlock support raises new questions about the forthcoming Pixels.

Published onMay 19, 2021

Google Pixel 5 Camera 1
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google could add an in-display fingerprint sensor to future Pixel phones.
  • Several references to in-display fingerprint sensors were spotted in the Android 12 DP2 code.
  • New evidence spotted in the Android 12 beta build further adds fuel to this possibility.

Update: May 19, 2021 (3:20 AM ET): New evidence has emerged suggesting that the Google Pixel 6 line may feature in-display fingerprint sensors. A loop posted to Twitter by XDA‘s Mishaal Rahman showcases a new fingerprint sensor animation in Android 12 beta. This comes after evidence of in-display fingerprint unlock support was first spotted in Android 12 DP2’s code.

There’s no clear confirmation that Google’s future Pixel line will pack an in-display fingerprint sensor. Rahman “assumes” the device line may feature the tech. But it’s clear that its latest OS at least leaves room for that possibility.

Original article: March 18, 2021 (12:32 AM ET): Google has mostly stuck to its rear physical fingerprint scanners since the very beginning of the Pixel series. However, the tech has now started to show its age seeing that Android competitors have already embraced in-display fingerprint sensors in a big way. Now, it looks like Google is finally coming around and planning to add in-display fingerprint sensors to future Pixel phones.

A developer named kdrag0n on Twitter (via XDA Developers) found evidence of Google’s potential plans within the code of Android 12 Developer Preview 2. Several new classes of code were spotted in the SystemUIGoogle app. One of them is named “UdfpsControllerGoogle,” where “Udfps” apparently refers to “under-display fingerprint scanner.”

Similar references were also found in the code of the first Android 12 Developer Preview. However, they didn’t specifically associate in-display fingerprint sensor support with Pixel devices. This time around, the new Udfps code suggests that the feature is being developed for Pixel phones rather than AOSP.

This is obviously not enough evidence to conclude that upcoming Pixel phones will adopt in-display fingerprint sensors. For instance, we already know from leaked renders that the Pixel 5a will most likely retain a physical fingerprint reader. But there have been times when future Pixel features have leaked through Android code. So let’s wait and watch if Google is finally ready to upgrade its hardware.

Also read: Google buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

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