Google’s Chrome OS has proved increasingly popular, but it’s missing a prevalent security feature. Though a number of devices support fingerprint authentication, it’s not baked into the OS.
A new Chromium Gerrit commit suggests that support is finally coming, adding to rumors of a next-gen biometric-enabled Pixelbook this year. Chrome Unboxed’s Gabriel Brangers spotted the addition, with several references to fingerprints.
Named ‘cros: Add fingerprint setup screen as a post-login screen’, the commit describes Out-of-the-box setup.
“<message name=”IDS_OOBE_FINGERPINT_SETUP_SCREEN_SENSOR_DESCRIPTION” desc=”The label that explains the location of the fingerprint sensor on the device.”>
Touch the sensor with your index finger. It’s on the top left of your Chromebook.
</message>,” reads one of the references.
New Pixelbook Inbound?
Another mentions using the fingerprint sensor to approve purchases, similarly to test versions of Microsoft Edge. Under the current plans, you’ll be able to register up to three fingerprints.
The specificity of the references joins with setup diagrams found by Chrome Unboxed. In them, a sensor once again features in the top left. This has lead to speculation that Google will release a Pixelbook with the feature at its October event, but there’s yet to be any compelling evidence. The device pictured looks more like a tablet to me.
Whatever the case, fingerprint authentication is a big addition for Chrome OS. It’s likely it would be implemented throughout the OS, greatly increasing authentication speed. Users have been requesting it since 2016, so it’s great to see it come to fruition.