There was much hype around Apple's fingerprint scanner – given the more consumer friendly Touch ID moniker – but now another smartphone manufacturer has brought the technology to a new device. With the launch of the new – and enormous – HTC One Max, HTC has gone down a different path to Apple and brought some different functionality as well as some similar to Touch ID. Android Central's Alex Dobie:
As we mentioned — and as you can plainly see on the back of the device — the HTC One Max has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. The scanner’s function is twofold — firstly, as a form of biometric security, to keep prying eyes away from your phone. Secondly, as a way to quickly launch apps when you’re unlocking the phone.
HTC, like Apple with Touch ID and the iPhone 5s, has had this in development for some time. Since both manufacturers have gone down different paths, it's interesting to compare the two. The two biggest immediate differences are that HTC has one of the older style swipe scanners on the One Max, and that it's on the rear of the phone.
The swipe scanner means operation will be different, and potentially less intuitive than Apple's implementation with Touch ID. While much of the functionality is similar between the two, Touch ID being built into the home button provides an advantage the One Max doesn't have. The home button is something iPhone owners touch multiple times a day. It's already a part of every day use, and as such using Touch ID is just as comfortable and convenient as going back to your homescreen. Putting the scanner on the back causes it's own issues on a device as large as the One Max:
For many people the Max will just be too large to make use of multiple fingers easily — it’s a one-handed feature on a two-handed phone. And even with one hand, the action of pressing the back of the phone is a little awkward, and eliminates the ability to easily check notifications when the phone is lying flat on a surface.
One thing I am impressed with though for sure is that the fingerprint scanner can be tied to quick launching of apps when you unlock the phone. I almost always go into my email app when I unlock the phone – especially since Touch ID is so damn fast I miss the notifications on the lockscreen – but I'd love to be able to have an option to auto-open this when I use my fingerprint. Specific use cases possibly, but an interesting touch from HTC.
One thing that isn't so clear, at least right now, is where HTC is storing the fingerprint information. With the iPhone 5s, the Touch ID information is stored in a secure portion of the A7 chip, where it remains safely away from everything else stored on the phone. Since HTC is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, it's not so likely that the One Max is doing something similar. Will this draw any questioning, any criticism?
Personally, I'm a huge fan of Touch ID and how Apple has implemented the new technology in a simple, seamless way. To the untrained eye, it's not even there, it just disappears into the home button and it's amazingly reliable too. The HTC implementation doesn't seem as if it would be as comfortable, as intuitive, and all around much less appealing to use.
Two different phones, two different implementations, but what do you think? Touch ID still better suited to you, or perhaps you're still not sold on the idea of a fingerprint scanner. Drop us a line in the comments with your thoughts, but be sure to head on over to Android Central to check out the rest of the HTC One Max review.
Source: Android Central