It’s no exaggeration to say fingerprint scanners have changed the way I use my phone. And now, it looks like that might happen again — on a whole other level.
As it stands, I hardly ever press my phone’s power button when I want to unlock it — because simply touching my finger to the scanner is a faster and easier way to get the job done. This is made doubly true by the fact that the scanner sits on the back of my phone, where my finger naturally falls when I hold it.
With Android 7.1 on the Pixel, Google attempts to extend that usefulness beyond mere unlocking: The phone has an option to have its fingerprint scanner double as a trackpad for gestures — or a gesture, at least. You can swipe down on the fingerprint scanner to open your notification panel anytime and swipe back up to close it.