Typing a password into your smartphone is, like, so 2014.
With support for fingerprint sensors becoming a native part of Android as of the Marshmallow release -- and fingerprint sensors rapidly becoming standard fare in flagship phones as a result -- it's easy to get spoiled by the ease of unlocking something with a touch of your finger.
The best part? That convenience doesn't have to be limited to your lock screen. The beauty of fingerprint support now being a native element of Android is that it's simple for developers to bring it into their own apps. And once you get used to skipping over a sign-in screen simply by pressing your fingie to your phone, well, it's hard to go back.
There's just one problem: Even though developers have slowly but surely been getting on-board with fingerprint support in the months since Marshmallow's release, it isn't always easy to find apps that offer the function. (Hey, Google, could we get a searchable flag for that in the Play Store?) So since I'm constantly keeping my eyes open for appendage-ready options to use on my own phone, I thought I'd put together a list of some of the better fingerprint-friendly titles I've found.
Now, mind you, this isn't a comprehensive list. It's a selective one, featuring apps with fingerprint support that actually strike me as being useful and generally decent in quality.
So crack those knuckles and get those frisky phalanges ready. Here we go:
Part I: Finance
- Bank of America. It's, you know, a bank. In America. And it just recently joined the fingerprint club.
- Chase. Another bank -- and another recent fingerprint adopter.
- Mint Bills. An all-purpose money manager and bill payment system.
- Robinhood. For the stock-traders (and tights-wearers) among us.
- USAA Mobile. One more bank to choose from. Also in the U.S. of A. ...A.
Part II: General security
- 1Password. A vault for securely storing your passwords. If you aren't using an app like this, you should be.
- Dashlane. Another popular password vault option.
- LastPass. And one more password vault. Pick one and start using it already, won't ya?
- App Lock. For adding extra security to specific apps so they can be opened only when your finger is present.
- Authenticator Plus. A two-factor authentication tool (and alternative to Google's own Authenticator app). Unlike most others, this one actually allows you to use your fingerprint to open it -- which might be enough to make it enticing.
Part III: Personal content
- EvolveSMS. A customizable third-party messaging app with plenty of advanced options.
- Focus. A beautifully designed gallery app that allows you to protect your photos from prying eyes.
- Journey. A personal diary guarded by your personal appendage.
- SignEasy. For storing signatures and signing virtual documents on demand.
- State Farm. A mobile interface for doing everything imaginable with your various insurance policies (assuming, you know, that you use State Farm for said policies).
- Google Play Store. Yup -- the Play Store itself supports fingerprint authentication for app, movie, and music purchases. Head into the Play Store's settings and activate the "Fingerprint authentication" option to get started. Make sure you also take a peek at the option labeled "Require authentication for purchases"; that'll need to be activated in order for the fingerprint prompt to appear.
And there you have it. Download the apps that make sense for you, fire up their fingerprint functions, and get ready to finger your phone like you've never fingered it before. But do us all a favor and don't use that phrase to describe it, okay? It's weird. And vaguely unsettling.
Sheesh. I can't take you anywhere, can I?