When Google launched the Pixel and Pixel XL, the company made sure to stuff them up with some exclusive features that other Android phones didn’t have. One of them, the Google Assistant is now available on any Android device running Android Marshmallow and above. Another feature that set the Pixel phones apart were fingerprint gestures. Now, fingerprint gestures were nothing new back then either. Manufacturers like Huawei and Xiaomi were actually the first ones to come up with the idea. Nor are fingerprint gestures an exclusive feature as Google would have had you believe. You can get Google Pixel like fingerprint gestures on any Android device without root with an app called Fingerprint Gestures.
Fingerprint Gestures expands on the possibilities
Cloudy Day Apps‘s new app is marked on the Google Play Store as “Unreleased” meaning it is under development, but you can install it right now anyways. Most probably it will work just fine anyways. The app brings not only the “Swipe for notifications” gesture from the Pixel but also provides you with other options. These include navigation gestures (back, recents, home), quick access to notifications and quick settings, bringing up the Power dialog, split screen, scrolling up and scrolling down.
There is one big, or shall I say huge limitation to the app, however. It only works with Android device with at least Android SDK 26. Meaning Android devices with a fingerprint scanner and running Android O which itself is under development. This limits the app to basically the Pixel devices and a couple Nexus devices for now. Considering how competitors are still to this day and age making fun of the distribution of Android updates, expect the number of devices to rise very, very slowly.
This isn’t the developer’s fault because, until the release of the Android O Developer Preview 3, there weren’t any APIs for the Fingerprint scanner on Android. This meant third-party developers had to write everything from the ground up. But with the third dev preview of Android O, developers got access to the new set of APIs introduced that will be introduced with the launch of Android O later this year. Fingerprint Gestures uses one such API called FingerprintGestureController. The API is part of the Accessibility services that allow an app to capture the finger movements across the fingerprint scanner.
In case you are one of the chosen ones, you can try out the app. That’s true even if you have a Pixel. Even though already present, the functionality is limited on the Google Pixel. Fingerprint Gestures can help expand the possibilities. One can only hope that more options will be added to the app as it comes out of development. Hopefully right alongside the Android O release.
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Fingerprint Gestures is a paid app that costs $0.99 but is available for free until June 16. So if you’re interested, there probably won’t be a better time.