Samsung will let developers use Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner in apps

Samsung released the software development kit for its Galaxy S5 smartphone, Gear 2 smartwatch, and Gear Fit fitness band at Mobile World Congress on Wednesday.

Most notably, the SDK will open developers to the Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanning technology, enabling them to integrate it into their own applications available for download on Google Play, in an effort to get rid of the traditional password.

Part of the Samsung SDK is Pass API. "Pass allows you to use fingerprint recognition features in your application," Samsung tells developers. "With Pass, you can provide reinforced security, since you can identify whether the current user actually is the authentic owner of the device."

Samsung is taking a different approach to the fingerprint scanner from Apple, whose closed SDK doesn't allow third-party developers to tap into the iPhone 5S' fingerprint scanner. It once again highlights the openness of Samsung and Android, versus the closed nature of Apple and iOS.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S5 hands-on

Apple uses its fingerprint scanning technology only within its own apps, but Samsung wants developers to implement it on a broader scale "to present unique and unprecedented content and services to our customers", according to Dr Won-Pyo Hong, president and head of the media solution centre at Samsung Electronics.

The first application to show off its integration with the Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner is PayPal. Galaxy S5 users will be able to login and shop at any store that accepts PayPal on mobile, using only their fingerprint.

Samsung hasn't detailed what security measures are found within its fingerprint scanner. On the other hand, Apple has detailed fingerprints are stored locally on the iPhone 5S's A7 processor, and not sent to the cloud. However, Samsung has made it into the Fast Identity Online Alliance that works to ensure mobile security.

The SDK shown for the Gear 2 and Gear Fit gives developers the tools to develop for the Tizen-based wearables for the first time.

The Galaxy S5, Gear 2 and Gear Fit will launch on 11 April in markets worldwide, giving developers some time to integrate the new tools into their apps. Pricing hasn't been announced for the devices.



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