One of the things you may have noticed with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL is that Google has courageously omitted the fingerprint sensor from the handsets and gone all-in on
Touch ID face unlock. This means that instead of just being used to log in on your phones’ lock screen, you’ll be able to use the face unlock system to do everything that you used to do with the fingerprint sensor such as accessing banking apps, authorizing purchases, and anything else that required a secure login. In theory, anyway. In practice, there are a limited number of apps that currently support Google’s BiometricPrompt API, with a few apps confirming that they are working on adding support for Google’s face unlock feature.
While Google will be pushing app developers to add support for its new face unlock feature, you’ll be faced with entering passwords or pin numbers to log in to apps that don’t support he BiometricPrompt API. Which really kinda sucks, because one of the reasons that fingerprint logins have become so popular is because many of us can’t remember our login details. Of course, the slow take-up to support face unlock could be because, for the moment at least, face unlock still works if you are asleep, dead, or otherwise incapacitated, which isn’t exactly secure and possible a little dangerous. Naturally, Google has said it is working on a fix for the issue.
We’ve got the list of apps that currently support the Pixel 4’s face unlock below:
- LastPass (beta)
- Password Safe
And that’s it, unfortunately. The following apps have at least confirmed that they are working on adding support for the Pixel 4’s face unlock although there are no timelines given.
- Wells Fargo
- U.S. Bank
- American Express
That’s an even more depressingly short list, but from November 1st onwards we should see more apps added to the lists because app developers will have to support the BiometricPrompt API if they want to include biometric authentication on apps released to the Play Store, although it will only become compulsory on the following app update.
For what it’s worth, you can be sure that Google is pushing hard to get more support from the most popular apps. Until then, you’ll likely need to dig out the login details to your banking and password apps. We’ll keep the list updated as and when more apps support the unlock feature.