The Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner may be coming more than 7 months later than the iPhone’s, but it’s already going to be more useful to users. Not only will it allow them to unlock their device at the touch of a button, but Samsung’s going to allow third-party developers to integrate fingerprint scanning into their own applications, too.
Developers will be able to use the new “Pass API” that’s part of Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 software development kit (SDK) to take advantage of the handset’s new fingerprint scanner. So rather than using PIN codes and passwords to gain access to certain apps, you’ll be able to use your fingerprint instead.
“Pass allows you to use fingerprint recognition features in your application,” Samsung says. “With Pass, you can provide reinforced security, since you can identify whether the current user actually is the authentic owner of the device.”
Of course, Apple hasn’t opened up the iPhone’s fingerprint scanner to developers (yet) because of the concerns that come with providing third parties with access to your fingerprint. On the iPhone, no record of a users’ print is stored locally, or backed up to any servers — so even if the handset is stolen, it’s impossible to gain access to a fingerprint.
Samsung’s approach will need to be a little more relaxed if it wants to provide third-party apps with access to the Galaxy S5’s fingerprint scanner — and therefore your fingerprint — so it’ll be interesting to see how the South Korean company will ensure it remains super secure.
The Galaxy S5 will launch alongside the Galaxy Gear Fit and the Galaxy Gear 2 on April 11.