Google is Improving Fingerprint Scanner Performance with Pixel 6 Update

Google is Improving Fingerprint Scanner Performance with Pixel 6 Update
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Google is Improving Fingerprint Scanner Performance with Pixel 6 Update

Highlights

Google quietly released a Pixel 6 update that addresses fingerprint scanner issues, as first reported by XDA developers. 15MB update brings unspecified settings for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Google quietly released a Pixel 6 update that addresses fingerprint scanner issues, as first reported by XDA developers. Details of the update have been confirmed in a post on a Google support page, vaguely stating that it includes "minor bug fixes and some fingerprint sensor performance improvements for the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro", without actually sharing any details on how the sensor was improved.

Dan Siefert mentioned the fingerprint reader in our Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro reviews last month, noting that it is often complicated to use or slow to recognize your fingerprint. Google responded by saying that the scanner's "improved security algorithms" can result in slow or unreliable performance. Google never indicated whether the scanner's performance had anything to do with problems with the device's software or hardware, and its initial response implied that the scanner was supposed to be slow for its security features to work properly.

But now that Google has released an update, the problem could be software related, after all. To see if the update really made a difference, The Verge employees share their experiences with the fingerprint scanner after downloading the Pixel 6 update. The findings are listed below:

- I haven't noticed a difference in the scanning, but it seems like it's making me use my fingerprint less to unlock the phone. —Richard Lawler

- I think the fingerprint reader does work better — I never had trouble with the left thumb, but the right thumb always took two or three tries, and now it seems to work pretty quickly. —Barbara Krasnoff

- It's certainly not so much faster (or more accurate?). But even best case, it's still slower than an S20. —Dieter Bohn

Overall, the Pixel 6 update results are mixed. It seems to offer some improvements, but it still doesn't put it on par with fingerprint scanners from other companies. User reactions on Reddit offer the same kind of mixed results; while some say the update fixed the problem, others say the difference is there, but only slightly. It's unclear if the fingerprint scanner update will be the last of its kind or if Google has another plan in the future. On the other hand, the problem may be related to the fact that Google decided to use an optical scanner under the screen instead of an ultrasonic one, and in that case, Pixel 6 owners can stay with the problem. For now, the sensor seems to be good enough.

Google says the update, which consists of two software builds: one for specific Verizon devices (SD1A.210817.037.A1) and one for international models (SD1A.210817.037), began rolling out today and "continue over the next week. "

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