Google Bringing Fingerprint Scanning to Chromebooks via Chrome OS 58

Fingerprint scanning coming to Chromebooks with Chrome OS 58

Google is introducing fingerprint scanning to Chrome OS 58 on the dev channel (version 58.0.3007.0), which allows users to authenticate unlocking their Chromebooks. The feature, dubbed “Quick Unlock,” can be accessed on any Chromebook running this version.

To enable Quick Unlock, you need to go to Chrome://flags on your Chromebook running the Chrome OS version mentioned.

After you set it up, you can then go into Settings and Screen Lock and configure the fingerprint scanning there. The feature currently allows you to register as many as five different fingerprints, so it’s great for multiple users.

Biometric access is becoming a standard part of device security, and this new feature on Chrome OS brings Chromebooks in line with other devices such as iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, all of which have fingerprint scanning or some other form of biometric access. In fact, the 2016 MacBook Pro brought this to Mac devices by integrating Touch ID into the power button for biometric authentication.

This is a first for Chromebooks. Google has the feature on its Google Pixel smartphone as well as Nexus devices, but neither Google nor any other Chromebook maker has yet implemented this, until now.

So, that’s begs the question: Which Chromebook will actually come with biometric authentication as a default feature?

From what we’ve heard, there are quite a few Chromebooks coming in 2017 that reportedly have fingerprint scanners built into them. One of these is the MediaTek Chromebook “Rowan“, another being “Eve“.

Obviously, both these Chromebooks will necessarily have to come with Chrome OS 58 for the feature to work. We know that the stable channel is currently on 56.0.2924.87 so there are quite a few version changes coming before we see Chrome OS 58 arrive on the stable channel.

We know that Chrome OS 55 came on January 10 to the stable channel, and Chrome OS 56 dropped about a month later on February 8. That means another couple of months, at least, before Chrome OS 58 sees the light of day on the stable channel.

If you are not a developer and not comfortable with beta versions, then that’s how long you might have to wait before Chrome OS 58 ships on new Chromebooks with fingerprint scanning capability.

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