Google Highlights Updates to BiometricPrompt API

Last year Google announced the release of Android P’s BiometricPrompt API, an Authentication tool that allows users to more easily integrate biometric authentication into their applications. Today at Google I/O, the company highlighted key updates to the API that will allow developers to fine tune the way that end users interact with authentication prompts, as well as providing new tools for recognizing device compatibility.

Streamline User Interaction with Implicit/Explicit Confirmation Flows

By default the BiometricPrompt API uses the explicit confirmation flow, this process represents what most people are accustomed to. When an application prompts the user to authenticate, the user is responsible for taking action based on this prompt. With implicit confirmation, no user interaction is required. This allows applications to use face authentication behind the scenes in situations that require low levels of security and when the action is easily undone.

Google also highlighted the addition of Device Credential Fallback, a process that allows developers to more easily select an alternative authentication method when the primary method fails. This can be useful when face authentication fails because of poor lighting conditions. 

Apps now have the ability to check the status of biometric authentication on devices. This feature allows developers to offer biometric authentication features only when a user’s device supports it and when the user has enrolled in it.

Be sure to read the next Authentication article: GitHub Now Supports WebAuthn