Google just fixed the Pixel’s big biometric security problem, but don’t get too excited

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    June Wang/ZDNET

    I’ve been using Pixel phones since they were first released to the public. From the first mobile phone to the newest, the experience has been (most of the time) exceptional.

    Also: All the products announced at this week’s Made by Google event

    Yes, there was the horrible Pixel 4, which had shamelessly poor battery life, but nearly every Pixel I’ve used has exceeded my expectations.

    There is one caveat.

    There are pros and cons to biometric authentication. When Google first introduced front-facing fingerprint unlocking, it was vague and slow. Fortunately, the Pixel 7 issue has been resolved. At the same time, some apps used facial recognition locks while others did not. So figuring out how to unlock one app over another was almost a guessing game.

    This is especially true for banking apps, where only fingerprint unlocking was available.

    Fortunately, pixel 8, those same apps will be able to utilize facial recognition. This also applies to payment apps like PayPal and other apps that traditionally only worked with fingerprint unlocking.

    Related article: Google expands AI search to younger users, gives publishers new tools

    We hope this improves the overall face unlock experience as well. So far, the Pixel 7 Pro’s face unlock doesn’t feel very reliable. Sometimes it works instantly to unlock your phone, and sometimes you have to rely on fingerprint unlocking. Fortunately, fingerprint unlocking is almost instantaneous, so it’s never a problem.


    Unfortunately, this new and widespread Face Unlock support is not specific to Android 14, but to Pixel 8 devices. This means if you have a Pixel device older than 8, banking and payment apps will still prioritize fingerprint authentication.

    Why is this happening? Most likely, the new Face Unlock on the Pixel 8 is related to the combination of Tensor G3 and Titan M2 security chips. Pixel 7 uses the same Titan M2 chip but includes Tensor G2, so this feature is unique to his Tensor 3 chip and depends on how it works with the Titan M2 chip I think.

    Related article: Google now lets you sign in with a passkey instead of a password

    Both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro are officially available for pre-order, with prices starting at . $699 and $999Each.


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