Starbucks has updated its app to now support the Pixel 4's new face unlock biometrics option. This means that you can now pay for your coffee by using your face. Instead of having to type in that long and complicated password, if you have a Pixel 4.
The app supports the new biometrics API, so it'll work with fingerprints and face unlock. Any smartphone that has face unlock and has support for the biometrics API will also work. However, currently, that is only for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Though that might change in the future.
The update is currently rolling out
As many are noting on Reddit right now, the update to the Starbucks app is still rolling out, as some have it but many others do not. And that includes myself. The Google Play Store is still showing the latest update as November 12, for most people.
This means that it is coming in a staged rollout, but you'll likely have the update within a day or two.
You can check the Google Play Store now to see if you have an update for the Starbucks app waiting for you. But it seems that Starbucks just published the app within the past few hours. So it's likely that most people don't have it just yet.
No, Starbucks doesn't get access to everyone's face now
Some skeptics think that now with Starbucks adding support for face unlock, that they'll now have access to everyone's face that uses their app.
That's not how face unlock works.
The way it works is an app requests authorization, which is then sent to the co-processor, that will ask for you to authenticate yourself. Either with your face or fingerprint – depending on the device.
Your face or fingerprint information never is given to the app requesting authorization. In fact, that data never leaves your device.
On top of that, it's likely that if Starbucks wanted to have everyone's face data, they could get it, just by grabbing it from the cameras in their stores.
Face Unlock is much easier for everyone to encrypt their device, seeing as they are going to be looking at their phone when they unlock it, meaning that it's going to unlock automatically when you press the button or pick it up. It's also more secure than fingerprints – though that is up for debate among security professionals.
It's great to see that we finally have another app that is supporting the new Biometrics API. Now if only more banks would support it.