Both XDA Developers and 9to5Google have spotted another upcoming feature in Android Q: more secure native facial recognition. Think Apple’s Face ID rather than Android’s existing Trusted Face system. Other OEMs like Xiaomi and Huawei have already shoehorned in their own facial recognition solutions, but now Google is bringing the feature to the (literal) source.
Details are sparse, and most of what we know right now comes courtesy of new error messages discovered by XDA, which indicate Android Q will likely have support for actual, dedicated facial recognition sensors, rather than the current front-facing camera-based solutions. Like other existing biometric authentication methods, the new facial recognition will fall back onto a PIN, password, or pattern for backup, and 9to5Google noticed that it interfaces with the same biometric dialog rolled out in Android 9 Pie. As a result (and as you may expect), this new system will be able to be used for purchases, as well.
This could also interface in some way with the “Face Match” functionality we recently spotted in a Google app teardown which looks set to provide a roaming, account-associated profile for facial recognition — as Assistant-powered speakers, displays, and phones can currently do for your voice via Voice Match.
Although XDA tried to grab some screenshots of the new enrollment process, the current Android Q images they have running on the Pixel 3 XL are missing key components as well as the facial recognition hardware required. While we don’t know what it looks like, it looks like Android Q will have support for more secure facial recognition systems.
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