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Nexus Marlin/Sailfish may feature new gesture controls using fingerprint reader

by Jacob Kleinman | August 3, 2016August 3, 2016 8:30 am PST

nexus fingerprint swipe animation

Google is expected to launch two new Nexus smartphones, codenamed Marlin and Sailfish, later this year. We already have a pretty good idea what to expect when it comes to the design and hardware, but a new report reveals an interesting new feature that could be coming to the Nexus lineup as well.

Android Police reports that the Nexus Marlin and Sailfish will launch with a new gesture control, using the fingerprint reader to quickly open the notification shade. The site actually obtained an animation that demonstrates how to use the new feature. Just swipe down on the rear-facing sensor and you’ll be able to quickly check your notifications.

Huawei currently offers a very similar feature in some of its smartphones, so it’s not a totally original idea. It’s also unclear if Google will bring the same capability to last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, which also feature rear-facing fingerprint scanners. Either way, we should see the feature officially launch with the Nexus Marlin and Sailfish.

The same animation also offers another look at Google’s redesigned onscreen navigation buttons, specifically the new “flower” home button. Android Police suggests it could be used to quickly launch Google Assistant, noting that the company used the same animation to announce the new AI service its I/O conference earlier this year.

Finally, we get another look at the new Nexus design. The simplified animation appears to confirm the rumored two-tone setup in back and shows the device in an “Electric Blue” color variant. The Nexus Marlin and Sailfish should look pretty similar, though the larger Marlin may feature a metal frame while the smaller Sailfish could come in plastic instead.

We could get an official look at the Nexus Marlin and Sailfish later this summer when Android Nougat officially launches, but it’s possible Google could keep us waiting until the fall before it launches its new smartphones.

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...