Google fixed Pixel’s biometric security problem

Google fixed Pixel's biometric security problem

Pixel Phones: A User’s Perspective

Google Pixel 8 Pro

I’ve been a fan of Pixel phones since their inception, and overall, my experience has been exceptional. From the first phone to the latest model, Google has consistently delivered on user expectations. Sure, there was the dreaded Pixel 4 with its abysmal battery life, but almost every Pixel device I’ve used has exceeded my expectations. It’s a testament to Google’s commitment to innovation and quality.

One aspect that has been a mixed bag for me is biometric authentication. When Google first introduced front-facing fingerprint unlock, it was a bit iffy and slow. However, they resolved the issue with the Pixel 7, providing a seamless and reliable fingerprint unlocking experience. But there was still inconsistency with app compatibility. Some apps supported Face Unlock, while others did not. This created a guessing game for users, as they were unsure which method to use for each app.

One area that particularly suffered from this inconsistency was banking apps. They could only utilize fingerprint unlocking, leaving users frustrated when trying to access their financial information. However, with the introduction of the Pixel 8, this issue will finally be resolved. Banking apps and other applications that traditionally only worked with fingerprint unlock will now be able to take advantage of Face Unlock. This includes payment apps like PayPal, opening up a wide range of possibilities for users.

The improved support for Face Unlock in the Pixel 8 is a significant step forward, hopefully improving the overall user experience. Personally, I’ve found Face Unlock on my Pixel 7 Pro to be less than reliable at times. Sometimes it works flawlessly, unlocking my phone immediately, while other times I have to resort to fingerprint unlocking. Thankfully, fingerprint unlocking is nearly immediate, so it’s not a deal breaker by any means. But the seamless integration of Face Unlock in the Pixel 8 is a welcomed enhancement.

However, there is a catch. This widespread Face Unlock support is not inherent in Android 14 but rather specific to the Pixel 8 devices. If you have an older Pixel device, your banking and payment apps will still rely on fingerprint authentication. This raises questions about why this feature is exclusive to the Pixel 8. It’s likely tied to the combination of the Tensor G3 and Titan M2 security chips. While the Pixel 7 also has the Titan M2 chip, it lacks the Tensor G3, indicating that Face Unlock support is a result of the Tensor 3 chip’s capabilities in conjunction with the Titan M2 chip.

Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are now available for preorder, with prices starting at $699 and $999, respectively. These devices represent the next level of Google’s smartphone lineup, combining innovation, security, and seamless user experiences. As a long-time Pixel user, I’m excited to see how these new devices will further elevate the already impressive Pixel experience. If you’re a fan of Google’s Pixel phones, it’s definitely worth considering an upgrade to the Pixel 8 series.