How does the Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner work?

The next-generation Samsung Galaxy flagship smartphone is now available and it includes a range of new features including a fingerprint scanner and improved camera.

We've reviewed the device elsewhere on Pocket-lint, but here we are looking at the fingerprint scanner to see what it does, how it works and to find out whether you should get excited about it.

What does the Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner do?

The Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner sits within the home button, just as on the Apple iPhone 5S, but they work differently. Apple's technology uses a press and hold action to unlock the device, while Samsung's requires you to swipe vertically across the home button to register your print.

The Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner won't just let you unlock your device, you will also be able to use it as an alternative to entering passwords and the company has released the SDK for the Galaxy S5, which will open up the fingerprint technology to developers.

The SDK will enable developers to integrate it into their own applications on Google Play because of the Pass API within it, which is something that Apple didn't allow. Samsung's has also made it into the Fast Identity Online Alliance that works to ensure mobile security.

The first app to present the integration of Samsung's fingerprint scanning technology is PayPal, where Galaxy S5 users will be able to login to their account and scan their finger to authorise the payment of items at any shop that accepts Paypal on mobile.

You can also use the fingerprint scanner to authorise access to your Samsung account.

Registering fingerprints on the Galaxy S5

Registering your digits on the Galaxy S5 is very easy, with only a few simple steps to follow, and you can register up to three. First of all, you need to launch the Fingerprint Scanner in the Quick Settings part of the Settings and open the Fingerprint Scanner.

To register your print, you need to swipe the finger you will be using vertically across the four-dot rows and over home button eight times, waiting for the green circle to appear after each swipe before you swipe again. There are squares to show you how many times you have left, and they move from blue to green as you get closer to the end.

The green circle appears when the swipe has been successful and when it has failed, you will get a fingerprint come up on the display with a red triangle warning telling you to "swipe the entire pad". This happened to us when we swiped only the home button and not across the dots above it. You also need to ensure you swipe all the way across the home button and not just stop once you are on it.

Once you have completed the eight swipes, you will be asked to create a password to use as an alternative to your fingerprints. Your fingerprint will then be registered and you will be presented with "Screen unlock settings" where you can decide if you want your fingerprint to unlock your screen or whether you want to use a swipe action, pattern, password, PIN, auto lock or nothing.

To register another print, you need to go back into the fingerprint scanner, press the "+" in the top right and repeat the process.

Deregistering fingerprints on the Galaxy S5

Deregistering fingerprints is also very straight forward so if you decide you don't want someone to have access to your device anymore, it's easy enough to get rid of them.

Again, you need to go into the Fingerprint Manager where you will see your registered prints listed. Next to the "+" in the top right is the three dots that will give you the option to deregister the prints when you tap on them.

Select deregister, tap on the fingerprint you want to erase and click the bin in the top right-hand corner.

You might think the fingerprint scanner is a bit gimmicky at first but it's a very simple process and if it saves you having to remember 10 different passwords for all your accounts in the future, then we would say it is definitely worth a bit of excitement.



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