Fingerprint scanning is coming to Chromebooks

Speculate no more. Google is actively working on a fingerprint unlock feature for Chrome OS.

Later this year, Chromebook owners with the appropriate hardware may be able to unlock their laptops with their fingerprint. Chrome Story recently spotted a new flag in Chrome OS Canary that discusses “Quick Unlock (Fingerprint).”

Mentions of fingerprint security features are also scattered throughout the changelog for Chrome OS 58.0.3007.0 that was released to the Dev Channel on February 14. Google routinely adds new features (or parts of them) to Dev Channel releases without fanfare. Hints of Google’s fingerprint plans for Chrome OS first surfaced last September.

Chromebooks went mainstream with Bluetooth-based authentication via a smartphone in early 2015—a feature that may soon be widely available on Windows 10. But Chrome OS lags behind with biometric authentication, a feature that is becoming more common on Windows and macOS devices.

It’s not clear if Chrome OS fingerprint scanning will support third-party peripherals the way Windows does, or if the hardware will have to be built into each Chromebook. In an ideal world both implementations will be supported.

The story behind the story: A Chrome OS fingerprint scanner could have implications beyond device unlocks. As Chrome Unboxed points out, some Android apps support fingerprint authentication. It’s conceivable that fingerprint scanning would work with Android apps running on a Chromebook. That is just speculation, however, and it may be that Android app support for fingerprint scanning would follow long after fingerprint unlock rolls out—if it happens at all.

Chrome 58 is expected to roll out to all platforms on the stable channel in April.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags chrome

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?