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Image credit: Jamie Rigg/Engadget

Android Q might include an equivalent to Apple's Face ID

Phone makers wouldn't have to develop their own secure face recognition.
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Jamie Rigg/Engadget

To date, Android phone makers who've wanted to include face recognition have had to craft their own secure solutions or else use basic face detection that you can fool with a photo. Soon, however, it might be relatively commonplace. Sleuthers at XDA and 9to5Google have discovered code in an early Android Q version that hints at native support for hardware face recognition. It wouldn't just be used for signing into your phone, either, as it could also authorize purchases and sign into apps. It would largely be a parallel to the Face ID system found in Apple's more recent iPhones, just with more flexibility.

There's no certainty this will make it to the finished version of Android Q, which history suggests could arrive in late summer. If it does, though, it could significantly expand the availability of secure face recognition on Google-powered devices. Phone makers don't always have the resources to pour into custom-built biometric tech. This could make it available to any brand that can afford to include depth sensors and similar hardware in their phones, and make it more a question of which device you want rather than having to make compromises.

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