Budget or flagships, almost every Android device these days has a fingerprint sensor for securely unlocking the phone. Using a fingerprint to unlock the device make things so much easier and looks cool. For some devices, up until Android Lollipop, you can also use the fingerprint sensor to securely lock apps. But that can only be done if the developer has provided a built-in support by default or if they allow 3rd party API access for these apps.
However, most of the devices don’t provide either of them and the sensor can only be used to unlock the device and some other feature like taking a photo, etc. But that limitation is only valid till your device is on Android Lollipop. With Marshmallow, Google has included native support for fingerprint unlocking and, therefore, 3rd party apps can take advantage of the feature to provide apps that could lock apps and much more.
Applock Fingerprint for Android Marshmallow
Applock Fingerprint is an all new app that uses the Marshmallow fingerprint API to lock apps using the fingerprint sensor. The thing to note is, that there are not many devices on Android M at the moment and, therefore, there is no compatibility list at the moment.
But I was able to test the app on the Nexus 6P (thanks to our friends at MySmartPrice for sending out a review unit) and it works as advertised.
Using the App
After you install the app, it will ask you to grant it three permissions from Android settings. The first one is to draw itself over another app, followed by usage access and device administrator. Each of these access’ are mandatory for the app to work and you will be guided with the initial app setup.
Once the setup is complete, you get to choose the apps you wish to lock using your fingerprint sensor. As the app is using the API from Android M, it will not ask you to register the fingerprints again.
Cool Tip: We usually use index fingers to unlock the devices and as the OS gives the option to add up to 5 fingerprints, you can give duplicate prints of the same finger to make the sensor more accurate and the accuracy will increase drastically.
The app is easy to use, but you get ads on the lock screen. You can, however, go for the pro version and get an ad-free experience. There aren’t many options available in the app apart from the settings where you can temporarily disable the lock services and disable the app.
Note: One way you can increase the security of the app is by locking the Settings menu along with Play Store as that’s the only two ways you can deactivate the app as the device administrator before it can be uninstalled.
Well, this is just one of the many apps to come in the Play Store. I hope to see developers coming up with some new, feature-rich apps to get the similar functionality, but at the same time, I am not sure how compatible it would be with other operating systems like MIUI, eUI, etc.