When Google announced the Pixel and Pixel XL back on October 4th, there were quite a few exclusive software features that weren’t going to be available to other devices in Google’s lineup, or other phones for that matter. One of the features that was announced was the ability to use fingerprint scanner gestures on both phones, which many thought might end up being available on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P as they both also had an integrated fingerprint sensor on the back. Google later confirmed that this wasn’t the case and that neither of those phones would be receiving support for the feature. This created a bit of a backlash with users of those devices, and has now resulted, it would seem, in Google taking a step and considering adding the fingerprint scanner gestures to both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P through a firmware update.
Considering does not mean that Google will end up following through with this, as there is every possibility that they may not, but when recently asked by Android Police about the potential for bringing the gestures over to last year’s Nexus phones, Google responded by saying that they were “evaluating a firmware update” that would introduce them.
Again, this is by no means a solid “Yes” but it does at least showcase that Google is putting some thought into it, which is potentially great news for those who have either the Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P and are wanting access to the gestures. Right now, the fingerprint gestures don’t do much, as they only allow the user to swipe down on the scanner to pull down the notification shade, and then swipe back up to get rid of it. Having said that, while the feature is limited in what it can do this is still very useful especially when you are using the device one handed and can’t or don’t want to attempt reaching your thumb up to drag the notification shade down. It just feels more natural with the fingerprint scanner on the back, and it’s much easier. If Google decides not to extend the gestures to its Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, there is always an app option available called Fingerprint Quick Action that has been created to fill this void.