Galaxy S5 owners can now access stored passwords with their fingerprints
April 29, 2014
You might already be familiar with password storage services like 1Password or LastPass. They beef up security by letting you create complex passwords that you'll never have to remember. You just remember your one master password, and use it to login to your vault. Starting today, Samsung Galaxy S5 owners who use LastPass can now use their fingerprints to log in to their password vaults.
When Apple added its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to the iPhone 5s, my first thought was "how cool would it be to use that as a 1Password master password?". But seven months later, Apple still hasn't let third-party apps use that fingerprint sensor. And Apple's in-house alternative, iCloud Keychain, doesn't play nicely with Touch ID either (plus it only works for web browser logins). It seemed like a missed opportunity for Apple's otherwise advanced technology.
Today Samsung gained the upper hand in this race. The latest update to Android's LastPass app, which adds GS5 fingerprint scanner support, is the first official biometric authentication support for a cloud password storage service (there are unofficial iPhone jailbreak apps that meet a similar end for 1Password).
I've tested the new LastPass update on a GS5, and the process is basically what you'd expect: turn on fingerprint scanner support in the app, and the next time you log in, all you have to do is swipe your finger over the home button. No need to type out your long master password every time you need to copy or fill some login info.
This is the best blend I've seen of security and convenience from a cloud password storage service. Of course biometric scanners can be duped (including the Galaxy S5's), so it still isn't a perfectly fail-safe solution. But unless you have hackers chasing down your fingerprints and making molds out of them (I think it's safe to say that doesn't apply to most of us), you shouldn't have anything to worry about. And if you aren't comfortable with the theoretical risk involved, you don't have to use it.
LastPass' Android app requires LastPass Premium, a service that costs US$12 per year. You can read more from the source link below.