Last month, Google started testing a new alternative PIN unlock system feature for added security. And now, the tech giant looks to boost its security efforts further and is reportedly working on introducing fingerprint support as well. This move was inevitable considering smartphones now have it as a default feature, and many laptops are also being launched with fingerprint sensors.
Chrome Unboxed found evidence of fingerprint scanner tests inside Chromium repositories. The fingerprint scanner was tested on baseboard 'Gru' of a Chromebook codenamed 'Kevin'. This hints that Chrome OS will bring support for fingerprint sensors, and Google is working on upcoming Chromebooks with dedicated scanners.
There is no other information on Kevin or the launch timeline for fingerprint-enabled Chromebooks so far. Fingerprint sensor support on Chrome OS will be used to unlock the device, as well as unlock individual apps now that Andoid apps work on Chrome OS.
The introductions of the new fingerprint sensor, alongside a new PIN unlock system (or the Quick Unlock feature) will make Chromebooks safer and more secure. The Quick Unlock feature will let users set a pin code, instead of a password. This feature is currently being tested in the latest Dev update, and will be rolled out in the stable version very soon.
Many laptops with support for fingerprint sensor have been introduced recently. Acer unveiled the Swift 5 laptop at IFA 2016 with support for the fingerprint sensor, and USB Type-C port. Meanwhile, Google recently announced that it is killing its browser-based Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The tech giant is phasing out support for Chrome apps (both packaged and hosted) except for Chrome OS, citing 'less usage' as the primary reason for its decision.