A Chromebook equipped with a fingerprint sensor has been a long time coming. As far back as September of 2016, we’ve tracked multiple devices that have added support for the biometric capability but it wasn’t until October of 2017 that we really expected to see this feature on a device.
Much to our dismay, the Pixelbook arrived in all its glory but sans a fingerprint sensor. Nearly a year later, it almost feels as if this increasingly common PC attribute has become an afterthought as device after device gets launched without it.
This week, however, a new commit has surfaced that gives is a clear indicator that Chromebooks with fingerprint sensors are not only very much on the way but support will be baked right into Chrome OS.
cros: Add fingerprint setup screen as a post-login screen
Digging deeper into this commit, I found reference to OOBE or the “out of box experience” that refers to the initial setup process when starting up a Chrome device for the first time or after a complete reset. (Powerwash)
Much like sensors many of you have on your phones, users will be prompted to setup fingerprint IDs or can dismiss the setup and enroll later if they so chose.
The commit goes into further detail drawing a roadmap that will be specific to the location of the sensor on a per-device basis.
“The label that explains the location of the fingerprint sensor on the device.”
Touch the sensor with your index finger. It’s on the top left of your Chromebook.
According to the setup process, users will be able to enroll up to three fingers at the moment but that could be subject to change as this feature evolves. It also appears that setting up fingerprints on your Chromebook will extend beyond simply unlocking your device.
When you see this icon, use your fingerprint for identification or to approve purchases.
It would definitley seem that fingerprint sensors are not only coming to Chrome OS but they will carry with them all the functionallity we have grown accustomed to on our phones where app developers can leverage the API to access applications and even make purchases with payment methods linked to your Google account.
If you’re wondering what this setup process will look like, we have a sneak peek. The fingerprint unlock has been hidden behind a flag for months and we’ve even share what the initial setup scree looks like but developers have been busy sprucing up the OOBE screen and below you can see what it currently looks like.
A little splash of Google color to the fingerprint and the familiar Material Design card look has really made the screen fell right at home on Chrome OS.
Acer and Dell both have their premium Kaby Lake Chromebooks slated for launch in the coming months but neither are coming equipped with a fingerprint sensor. So, when will we see one of these in the flesh?
If our guess is correct, October will present us with the next generation Pixelbook or Pixelbooks. Should the Chromebook ‘Nocturne’ be among those devices, we’re betting the biometric scanner will be in tow.
A fingerprint sensor on a laptop may seem like a major yawn in 2018 but for Chromebooks that live and breath completely inside of Google’s ecosystem, it’s a pretty big deal.
Google continues to bring deeper integration to all of their platforms and the addition of biometrics to Chrome OS is just one more piece in the puzzle that is creating parity between all of their products.
Good stuff, indeed.
Source: Chromium Commits