Fingerprint Scanner Gestures: Pros and Cons
Fingerprint scanner gestures have been around since 2015. But are they a good thing or just another distraction? Here's the real deal.
Fingerprint scanner gestures first premiered back in 2015 when the Huawei Mate S was released into the wild. Since then, Meizu phones picked up on them for a bit and now the Google Pixel is hopping on board, with a swipe that enables the users to drag down the notification shade. These fingerprint scanner gestures can help save time, but it isn’t enough to keep your information safe from prying eyes or thieves. Make sure that you have Anti-Theft activated so that your information stays safe in case of loss or theft:
But times are changing again. New cell phone models are now featuring front-mounted fingerprint scanners that take things a bit further. Case in point? The new Huawei P10 and P10 Plus, and the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, have mixed things up again. This time, there are no on-screen navigation buttons. Instead of the typical navigation, there’s now a front-mounted fingerprint scanner. As you may imagine, it takes a little getting used to and isn’t without its problems.
For the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, the controls are more natural and intuitive. It doesn’t feel as complicated and it isn’t as difficult to remember the functions. Swipe to the left to head back, click to head for home, and swipe to the right for your recently used mobile apps. Again, when you hold down the home button, you’ll pop up Google Now.
Take the P10 for instance. Yes, you can unlock your phone with the scanner as you’d expect, but after it is unlocked, you can do more. Click on it to go back, long-press to go home, or swipe to the left or to the right to pop up your recent apps. There’s even faster access to Google Now. All you need to do is to swipe up near the home button — now that’s convenient.
Learning, or at least trying to remember, the different swipes won’t take forever. In fact, it does feel faster than clicking around the traditional way. Still, if it isn’t for you, there is an option to return to the on-screen buttons. Since there’s no standard design, each manufacturer will handle it differently. Switching from manufacturer to manufacturer will mean taking more time to learn how to use that feature. The rear-mounted scanners, like on the Pixel, seem more natural overall.