Samsung’s commitment to secrecy in all matters Galaxy S5 has been impressive; conflicting reports over the past few weeks have obfuscated the final device’s form and features. But as with any high-profile smartphone or tablet, details almost always leak closer to launch, and Samsung’s next flagship is no exception.
Yesterday, SamMobile confirmed the presence of a fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S5. Contrary to speculation, the publication said the sensor will not be embedded behind the device’s screen, but in a physical home key. (Sorry, software button fans.) The report went on to say that the sensor will, like the laptop fingerprint readers of yesteryear, require you to quickly swipe your entire, moisture-free (it won’t recognize wet digits) finger across the home button. That sounds a little less convenient than Apple’s Touch ID, but considering that technology’s unreliability, Samsung’s implementation could be an improvement.
SamMobile also revealed juicy details concerning how Samsung intends to incorporate the fingerprint sensor into software. Apparently, you’ll be able to assign 8 different fingerprints to different tasks or apps, so you can, say, open S Voice with your middle finger. You’ll also have the ability to hide certain apps and media with Personal Folder and Private Mode, features that require a fingerprint scan or PIN to unlock content. Finally, you’ll have the option of entering your Samsung account and website credentials with a fingerprint.
Though fingerprint scanners have come a long way since the Motorola Atrix, I’m still not convinced they’ll replace passwords or shortcuts just yet. Still, Samsung’s tech sounds intriguing, and it won’t be long before we’ll have a chance to see it for ourselves.