The Android 7.1.2 OTA update announced on Monday, Jan. 30 has started rolling out to the Google Pixel and the Nexus 5X, and the latter is finally getting fingerprint gestures.

The Google Pixel launched with a neat Android feature that allowed users to swipe down on the fingerprint sensor to see notifications, and the feature has been highly requested among Nexus device owners.

Why So Late?

Although the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P have the exact same fingerprint sensor as the Google Pixel, they did not get the same fingerprint gestures with the Android 7.1 rollout.

As 9to5Google points out, Google said at the time that it was "evaluating" the situation to decide whether to extend the feature to the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. A Google employee further elaborated on the matter, noting that although the Nexus 5X and 6P have similar hardware, the firmware was an older version without gesture support. Nevertheless, the employee said that although it would take some effort to update the firmware and HAL, it was doable.

It now looks like Google made the effort and did the necessary updates, as the Nexus 5X finally gets the Pixel's fingerprint gestures with the latest Android 7.1.2 OTA. It's worth pointing out that Android 7.1.2 is not yet rolling out to the general public, as it's still in beta. This means that for now, the update is only reaching Nexus and Pixel devices part of the Android Developer Preview program. Factory images are also available, albeit it's recommended to enroll in the Beta Program and get the updates OTA when they're available.

Nexus 5X Fingerprint Gestures With Android 7.1.2 Beta

With the latest Android beta, the Nexus 5X now features the Pixel's fingerprint gestures under "Moves" in Settings, where users can activate or disable it. The Nexus 6P has yet to get a taste of the Developer Preview build, but it's bound to get it soon and it will most likely get the gesture as well. Android 7.1.2 OTAs are expected to roll out soon for the Pixel C and the Nexus Player too.

Why is this gesture so popular? Well, as smartphones have gradually increased in size, it can sometimes be tough or uncomfortable to reach the top of the smartphone to swipe down and see your notifications. With this simple fingerprint gesture, users can more easily swipe down on the fingerprint scanner to reveal notifications, then swipe back up to hide them. It's a neat trick that may seem minor, but it goes a long way to make things more convenient.

Otherwise, Android 7.1.2 seems a rather minor upgrade that won't bring any groundbreaking changes. It's mainly designed to enhance device performance and fix some bugs, but the addition of fingerprint gestures makes it a real treat for Nexus 5X users.

We're hoping to see the same treat for the Nexus 6P soon, but no additional information is available at this point. As always, we'll make sure to keep you up to date as soon as we learn more, so stay tuned.

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