Finger pointing over Nexus’ lack of support for fingerprint gestures

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As more hardcore Google and Android fans continue to process the idea that the Nexus line of devices are no longer considered Google’s pinnacle of hardware platforms, replaced by the new line of Pixel smartphones, issues continue to crop up concerning support, or the lack thereof, via updates for last year’s Nexus devices. One of the latest issues is the lack of support for fingerprint swipe gestures for the Nexus 6P despite having the exact same hardware as the new Pixel smartphones. Google indicates the lack of support is a practical matter and not one of intentionally crippling an older hardware platform.

According to Ian Lake, a Developer Advocate for Google, the problem can be traced to the firmware for the hardware included in the Nexus 6P. Lake notes in an e-mail:

“Same hardware doesn’t mean same capabilities, alas.”

This explanation is a practical one as far as helping users understand why their older device is not keeping pace with current phones despite the common hardware. However, it does seem to raise the question of why an updated firmware version has not been developed and released that would enable gesture swipes for the Nexus 6P sensor. Another Google employee, Nick Desaulniers, acknowledged that building a firmware update and new hardware abstraction layer is “doable.” The question appears to be one of Google simply not committing resources to make this happen for owners of the Nexus 6P.

Do you think Google is stretched too thin to commit resources to bringing new features to last year’s Nexus devices or are they intentionally leaving them behind to help nudge buyers into newer devices?

source: Android Police


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.