Fingerprint scanners on phones have never been super popular, but they’ve been a reliable way to secure mobile computing devices for nearly a decade. They have often been used in laptops and PDAs, but the only high-profile Android device to ever sport a fingerprint scanner was the Motorola Atrix. There are rumors floating around that Apple will be including a fingerprint scanner in a future iPhone, so it’s not too absurd to think that Android OEMs would be playing around with the idea as well.
When leaked pictures of the HTC One Max showed up last week, it was speculated that a square black panel on the back of the phone could be a fingerprint scanner. Today, newly leaked images of the phone seem to confirm that notion, giving us a closer look at the fingerprint scanner and a toggle in the phone’s setting to turn the feature on or off.
Personally, I have no use for a fingerprint scanner on my phone. I rarely use pattern, face or pin locks on the phones that I use, so adding another locking option doesn’t really excite me. However, I can admit that there is a certain appeal to fingerprint scanning for those who do need to make sure their device is secure. Passwords and pins are probably secure enough for the majority of users, but they are a hassle. You press your phone’s power button to check your emails, but you first have to type in a 4-8 digit key. A fingerprint scanner would probably only save you a second or two every time you need to unlock your phone, but that could add up to a minute or two each day potentially saving you a few hours every month.
The fingerprint scanner on the Motorola Atrix worked just fine. The phone wasn’t ever a huge success, but we doubt it was because it had a fingerprint scanner on the back. I do not think a fingerprint scanner will help sale of the HTC One Max, but I could be wrong. Do you think the fingerprint scanner is an important piece of Android smartphone’s security puzzle?