The new Pixel phones launched with a built-in fingerprint gesture for expanding the notifications and quick settings. But much to the disappointment of Nexus owners, that feature was not going to come to last year’s Nexus devices. Thankfully, there is now a way to get fingerprint gestures on devices with fingerprint scanners.
A new app on the Play Store — Fingerprint Gestures — allows users to control various parts of their phone using the fingerprint scanner. There are three different gestures: single tap, double tap, and fast tap (swipe). The gestures accompanying those different actions are:
- Navigation: back, home, or recent apps
- Power: sleep (root only), and the power button menu
- Scrolling: scrolling up and down (both are root only)
- Notifications: open notifications panel, toggle notifications panel (opens and closes), and open quick settings
- Media: play/pause song, next song, previous song
- Other: launch app, toggle flashlight, toggle ringer mode, toggle split screen (Nougat+ only)
The Fingerprint Gestures app certainly offers a lot more than the Pixel does. However, from my experience using this app, the gestures can be a little finicky. The animations for expanding the notifications aren’t always smooth, and the difference between a single tap and a fast tap are so small that the two actions can easily get mixed. However, all gestures don’t have to be active at the same time; one gesture with one action is just fine.
This app definitely solves the problem of Nexus devices lacking fingerprint gestures. A separate app with a persistent notification isn’t a perfect solution, but it is a solution regardless. Hopefully the app only continues to get better as time goes on.
If a few bugs don’t bother you, then this is a great app to check out! It’s available on the Play Store for free. Also worth noting, this isn’t limited just to Nexus users. It’ll work on just about any Android smartphone with a fingerprint sensor.