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Nexus Imprint still hasn't learned anything from me

A particularly stupid move on my part over the weekend left the tip of my right index finger sliced open. Not enough to need a trip to the hospital, but enough that I'm reminded of its existence every time my finger drifts across a rough surface. And the cut is just enough to get in the way of unlocking my Nexus 6P the way I typically unlock it, which means I have to shift my finger just a bit to confirm the unlock and move on with the rest of my interaction. No big deal, there's plenty of finger there for the sensor to grab and I've got other fingers stored if it becomes a problem.

Only it shouldn't have been a problem at all, remember? My phone is supposed to be learning as I use it, and I don't think that has been happening.

Dave Burke introducing Nexus Imprint

When Google introduced the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, one of the big features was "Nexus Imprint." Not only did these two phones include some of the fastest fingerprint sensors on the market at the time, but the act of registering a new fingerprint was by far the fastest in the industry. This fingerprint process is fast because it only captures six images to make up your whole fingerprint, which wouldn't normally be enough to cover a whole fingerprint effectively. Google's explanation for using so few steps in the capture process was a special learning process baked into Nexus Imprint. Dave Burke told us so on stage during the Nexus 6P launch event.

What's really cool? It's that Nexus Imprint gets better over time. With each use it learns more about your unique fingerprint.

While that sounded really special, we never actually got an explanation of what specifically was happening during this process. We did learn that unless you're very careful with the six "pictures" the Nexus 6P and 5X take to save your fingerprint to memory, there's a very real chance of creating fingerprint records that are incomplete. Nexus Imprint is supposed to fill in these gaps over time, seamlessly, so you barely even notice they're happening. It's a terribly clever idea, a spectacularly Google thing to do. It's also not happening on my Nexus 6P.

Nexus 6P

For a phone that has been sucking up my fingerprint just about every day for the last month and a half, my Nexus 6P still fails to unlock my phone in all the same places it did when I first set it up. The only difference is, now that I've sliced the tip of my finger open I'm using those parts of my finger deliberately instead of accidentally. While this could absolutely be resolved by remapping my finger after the cut heals or just using another finger, it's strange to see absolutely no evidence of Nexus Imprint learning more about my fingerprint or getting better over time. It still feels the same, and while that still means this is a great fingerprint sensor, it'd be nice to see some evidence of Google's claim.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at Android Central. He's a former server admin who has been using Android since the HTC G1, and quite literally wrote the book on Android tablets. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Find him on Facebook and Twitter

211 Comments
  • Totally agree here. The Verus case I use has a smaller opening for the fingerprint scanner, so sometimes it makes my finger land awkwardly and gives me a failed reading. The Adopted case is much more reliable, since it has a slanted edge around the opening, but overall I'm not seeing any improvement in the accuracy. That's certainly not to say it's bad, but I would expect to be at 99% accuracy after two and a half months using my 6P.
  • Google probably means that it gets better at recognizing the part of the finger you are presenting to the sensor. There is probably no way the scanner is going to recognize your finger if part of it is chopped off, and it is not going to recognize any part of your finger you didn't scan in the first place.
  • Yeah wouldn't allowing a half cut off finger basically be violating the security??? Only way I see this improving on the fly is if you already were authenticated and then added some additional updated captures for the cut finger. The whole improves over time thing sounds great but thinking about it may be flawed way to explain it?
  • So you blame the device because you purchased a fat and Ill-fitting case.....well done.....
  • Okay, so it sucks, but it sucks buttery smooth.
  • Back in the day your trolling was more disguised. Try harder. Lam I Am
  • lmao! classic! Almost as classic as him begging.. actually more like grovelling, for a nexus 6P in the giveaway contests
  • Yeah he wants one just like everyone else but maybe mommy said NO! :P
  • Whatever brand your loyal to, their fingerprint scanner has the same exact issue because no other OEM has claimed their fingerprint scanner has gotten better over time. I'm not sure what you are trying to prove here... Posted with the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, or Surface Pro 3
  • Except it's a sensor ,not a scanner might be part of the problem Posted via the Android Central App
  • He's loyal to Samsung
    He's been doing his now-getting-old trolling for about 6 months now every time there's an article remotely related to Nexus brand...
  • The new Yarrell?
  • Lol no it doesn't Posted via the Android Central App on my Frost Nexus 6P
  • I have noticed 0 improvements in recognition. If anything, that has been the only disappointing aspect of my Nexus 6P.
  • I've also noticed 0 improvement. But, to be fair, it's hard to improve on perfection. Imprint works 99% of the time for me, compared to 60% of my Note5.
  • For me my 6p gets it right about 85% of the time. And the 5% are total fails requiring my pattern unlock. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Redo your finger prints. I had to do that on one of my fingers Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah my Note 5 isn't nearly as accurate as my 6P. I wish the Note 5 didn't require pushing the button and then scanning the fingerprint. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Note 5 doesn't work like the s6 that doesn't require button to be pushed? Posted via the Android Central App
  • The 6P will unlock by just putting your finger on the scanner without doing anything first. Note 5 you have to wake screen with home button and then put your finger back on home button for it to unlock.
  • you don't have to take your finger off after waking the screen (on the note 5) you just leave it there for a second and it will unlock. unsurprisingly, it works exactly the way the iphone's touch ID sensor works. i think the nexus method is the most efficient personally. but the 6s's sensor is still fastest. (i have a 6p, note5 and 6s)
  • Agreed with you!! (I have a 6P, edge+, and 6s Plus)
  • Friend has a Nexus 5x, its fingerprint scanner is much faster than any 6s scanner I've seen
    But then again, I don't own both, so I can't directly compare...
  • You are a liar Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exact same situation with my 5X. Maybe I just did a good job mapping when I first set it up, but I'll go days without a single failure.
  • Exactly... my 6P has been flawless on fingerprint unlocking. If you power cycle it will sometimes ask for the password but I think that's just how its setup to work. When it allow fingerprint it works great. To the guy that said it's not 99% or better just do as suggested and redo the fingers again.
  • Was just thinking this last night! When I set it up on my 5X I placed the center of my index finger on the sensor - basically how I would hit it if I were holding my phone. However, when I first pick up my phone from a table I hit the sensor more with the top of my finger - this always gets rejected. You'd think by now Nexus would recognize that portion.
  • What I did was scan the same finger more than once, all in slightly varying positions. My 6P recognises it perfectly. You may want to try the same? Posted via the Nexus 6P!
  • Was about to suggest the same thing, I did the same finger a couple times and have had no problems at all.
  • Exactly!!!
  • Did the same thing, i figured everyone would do that. Works perfectly
  • I've noticed no improvement, but then again it might be hard to notice an improvement from "excellent".
  • Agree. It's always been so good, it's hard to tell. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It must be something I the way your initially installing the print. I tapped my finger around all corners. The sensor recognizes the very tip of my finger and opens immediately. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Russell has become the Geraldo Rivera of the Android world. There's conspiracy everywhere...
  • I don't think slicing your finger in half and then asking the phone to recognize it or learn it was an idea Google said it would do.
    Recognizing parts of your finger yes but after you cut it its essentially a different fingerprint no?
    Correct me if I'm wrong. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The point was, Russell is using different parts of his finger tip at the moment, to avoid the cut. If the phone was learning as it was claimed, it would recognise these other parts of his finger, but it isn't. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The real question is whether or not he ever used THOSE parts of the finger enough that the recognizer would identify it as his finger. If you've been using your finger flat 99% of the time, I'm not sure it makes sense to assume that if you tried it from the side that it would associate it with your finger since it never associated that 'patter' with your finger to begin with. So while I can see how there might be some expectation that 'it should have learned more about my finger' I'm not sure it rises to 'it should have learned about a part of the finger which I never used to access the phone until now'.
  • This statement makes no sense... it's like asking something to recognize something by guessing or something... like filling in the blanks. We wouldn't want it to guess... it's either the exact fingerprint pattern or it's not. I don't think want there to be much wiggle room in this. My point is I don't see how you could expect it to recognize anything it hasn't be programmed to recognize. If it looks wrong it shouldn't unlock period... granted I suppose there has to be a tiny little bit of accepted variation... Perhaps someone in xda can figure out how to alter this making it more and less stringent on the accuracy?
  • I think he's saying he cut his finger, so now he's using a different part of that same finger (farther to one side), and that part isn't cut.
    It should still work, because part of it is still an area that the fingerprint reader has already seen. The idea is that the fingerprint reader should gather more data about the edges of your fingerprint as you use your fiber in different positions. Therefore, if you cut your finger, and have to move it a few millimeters, it should still have collected enough data by know to know it's your finger. But it's Google. Like Microsoft, they're great at amazing ideas, but follow through is 50/50. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Your last sentence is specially accurate... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I fail to see how it could be learning to improve on something that wasn't being done until recently, sounds more like the registration wasn't performed correctly in the first place. Only once or twice has it ever failed to scan my fingerprint correctly and I suspect that was my fault. Try registering the finger with the cut and watch it learn while it heals, sounds like a good test to me.
  • You don't know how to use your finger. There, I said it! Come on, you were all thinking it! Google just put out info on how to resolve this problem. A detailed video on how to properly control your finger as you place it on the unlock reader. You need to lick your finger, put it up in the air to determine wind speed and/or other factors which may cause you to lose control. It is very informative, you should check it out. Any technology with self learning as one of the features is pure marketing bs. Seriously, use it for what is worth if you want. But my Pin Code works every time and can never be stolen.
  • I love my Nexus 6P, but I'm right there with you on the nexus imprint. I'd even take it a step further. For me, the recognition of my finger seems to get WORSE over time, not better. I actually delete the profiles for my fingers periodically, and re-establish them. They seem to work better right after you set them up.
  • A tip from an iPhone user (not me) if your fingerprint scanner gets less reliable over time, give the sensor a good clean with a lint free cloth. Works for them, might work for you. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Thank you for the tip! Some times it doesn't recognize my finger or it takes longer than it did initially.
  • I had to do this all the time when I had an iPhone. But that was glass, which was also the home button so it got smudgy way faster. What material is the 6p scanning through? I can't really tell, but probably plastic. Anyways, I wipe it all the time but it never helps. I feel like the accuracy has gotten a little worse over time. Still really good, and better than my iphone 6, but not as good as when I first set it up.
  • Good old common sense. I've never had a problem with mine ... but then again when I set it up, I moved my finger around the imprint sensor, so it got my finger tip in many directions. Hasn't failed me yet... but then again, cleaning it off occasionally is sound advice. Perhaps the 'negative' posters are just that... IMposters, not 6P owners. Definitely don't have common sense. Stupid is as stupid does. Just saying.
  • I'd agree with this.... Also voice recognition and trusted places tend to get worse over time too... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Trusted Device/Bluetooth Connections don't work all the time either and that's something that it should most certainly have an absolute fingerprint for every single connection, yet strangely enough I will see it connected to my car - hear it playing music in my car, but require me to enter my passcode to unlock the phone. Just really really broken in some ways that defy logic.
  • It will require a password the first time you unlock in a smart zone sometimes.
  • I've noticed the same. Seems like the mixture of safe devices, smart location, and on body detection gets confused. It's almost as if it is overly conservative with the lock. Ie - "I don't care that I'm in a safe location, I'm not on body anymore...LOCK IT DOWN!"
  • I've found this to be true for many "learning" applications I've used. Such as Swype keyboard. Great at first, have to clear data after a month of use.
  • I haven't had that issue with Swype. If anything, it remains constant, if not slightly more accurate
  • The trick is not to delete existing profiles, it's to add more profiles for one finger. I have about 4 profiles for my main finger in different positions. It very rarely fails. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No improvement whatsoever on both the 5X and 6P. The fingerprint sensor is still great, but it hasn't been learning anything over time. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Mine's about the same. I set up each of my index fingers twice using many different spots so I never really have issues. My phone thinks I have set up 4 different fingers but it was actually just two fingers set up twice each using many different positions. I rarely fail in unlocking the phone. You don't realize how different placing your finger on the sensor in everyday use can be from when you are deliberately setting it up. Everyday use ends up using more of the side of my finger but when initially setting it up I sort of wanted to use the center of my finger.
  • That's a good idea - setting up the same finger multiple times.
  • Good tip. I'll give that a shot. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's the same thing I did when I first got it only I have just one finger registered 3 times. I recorded every possible section of that one finger and it works 100%
  • Yes absolutely, have scanned two fingers twice each. The last one I saved for my wife, so she can use the phone if need arises. Posted via the Nexus 6P!
  • When I first got my Nexus 6P I found myself resetting my fingerprint constantly because it was getting worse every time. First I thought it was a defective unit but after the updates this problem got fixed for me. I think that instead of "learning", it was probably messing up the information it learned first. Probably Google noticed this was happening so now it's probably not changing anything with every tap so it just get it right? Or it might just be that I learned how to land my finger on it? I don't know for sure.
  • Yeah l, it works good. But definitely no better than the day I got it. But then again it works so good that it's hard to tell. Posted via a nexus
  • Yeah maybe the scanner would need to take a few more steps to set up but it works awesome in my opinion as it is. Click free imprint is priceless if you ask me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Your fingerprint CHANGING wasn't what they had in mind. Refining the knowledge of it over time is the point, not relearning it after it changes.
  • This is what I was thinking. Your finger looks different now so difficulty unlocking makes sense. Time to have it relearn your finger. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not what he's saying. Also addressed in previous comments. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's a cool idea but I see no evidence that it's learning anything. It still doesn't recognize the tip of my finger.
  • I guess it depends on what they mean by "learn more about your fingerprint". What else is there to learn?
  • Think of it like stitching together a panorama or photosphere from a set of photos. The more photos you have the better the end result is going to look. Too few photos and you're going to either not capture everything, or the stitching is going to look bad. Nexus imprint starts off with 6 images of your fingertip, enough for a decent fingerprint. But it's supposed to keep getting more images over time and stitching them together to get a more complete, accurate fingerprint. But it seems it's not actually doing that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But what if it's not stitching everything into a bigger area and instead using the additional images to essentially resample the already existing area?
  • Fingerprint sensors don't use images at all. It uses analyses data of like distances between ridges. The raw comparison data is stored in a dedicated nand in the CPU. It's not user readable, nor is it accessible to anything but the scanner. It sends a truer or false signal to the OS based on the new data vs the stored data. This is why it's very secure... And it's also spoofable if you really want to put in some effort making fake prints. Posted via the Android Central App
  • PZ was using an analogy, and a pretty good one. It's supposed to add data with use to improve recognition during variations in finger position. By the way, it's not hard to spoof the prints. I pulled a nice clean one on Thanksgiving day from someone's iPhone 6 in about 45 seconds just to demonstrate, and if I was nefarious, that person would be affected for life. You can change a password, but not a fingerprint ;)
  • And I could look over your shoulder and get your pin. If you're a horrible person and want to access someone's data, you will. Locks only keep honest people out. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly! This is how I got it working using my tongue. I just lick it and i am good to go. Ahhhh, don't let peoples odd reaction when you do it deter you. They just have no appreciation for the taste of finger oil and metal.
  • That was sort of my interpretation. My issue is with the word "learn". There is a finite amount to be learned about a fingerprint. If it took a more complete image during setup, it wouldn't need to learn anything. Maybe I've just been condition to think of the word "learning", in this context, as a short for "machine learning". Maybe I'm also being more than a little pedantic.
  • Mine has , I can now use my big toe. Seriously I think sometimes we are asking to much of our phones. He sliced his finger what do you expect. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I've unlocked my phone at least a couple of hundred times with the fingerprint scanner and it still doesn't recognize the tip of my finger. It should know it by now.
  • Well your finger works , what's the big deal. You guys are making to much of this. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I'm not saying we should throw the phone in the river because it doesn't recognize the tip of my finger. I'm just wondering out loud when the experience is going to improve as promised. So far it hasn't Far from the end of the world, as I pointed out several times.
  • Google claimed the sensor learns more of your fingerprint over time and that's the reason for the quick setup. If the scanner is not learning anything then the quick setup is a hindrance rather than an advantage and it should be pointed out.
  • Set up a new profile with whatever part of your finger you want it to use. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The expectation--which was set by Google--is that it will get better and better over time. It's not a matter of unreasonable expectations when the company is telling you to expect more. If they never said a word about Nexus Imprint there would be no discussion, but they did so that invites scrutiny of the claim. ...Joe K.
  • It is unreasonable from the perspective of the device knowing that some portion of your finger which it has never considered valid suddenly being expected to be valid. It probably does look at some drift in your fingerprint to identify more incomplete fingerprints over time, but if you never used the tip during training - it would never learn that the tip is part of your finger because it would never be a positive use case - ever. It would in essence be like expecting it to identify another finger on your hand. It never considered that pattern to be valid before - why would it start now. To get to that case you would have to very gradually over a period of time go from some part of the finger that it considers valid to the tip. Otherwise its likely outside the confidence interval between the part you're using now and the part you used to use every day.
  • Nah, they want magic. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • This Posted via the Android Central App
  • I wish I had a 6p lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • There's definitely not been a (noticeable) change/improvement since first registering my fingers. Also, does anyone know why the phone will randomly ask you to enter the PIN for "Additional Security" after you've scanned a finger?
    I know a PIN is also required after reboot, but this just happens randomly for no apparent reason. It's annoying!
  • I've had that happen as well. I can't remember it happening earlier on, so I assumed it was something that got added in a later software update.
  • It's probably Smart Lock. If you don't use the phone for 4 hrs or reboot it, you are required to manually unlock the phone. The fingerprint reader doesn't seem to count for that.
  • For the poll I voted that it works pretty much as it did when I set it up. As for my experience, I find it has worked great for the way that I set my fingerprints up. I went ahead and placed different portions of my finger on the sensor so that it was getting all the random ways I expected I would be picking it up and placing my finger on it. I know that each time I pick it up will my finger be perfectly placed so I avoided a direct, centered press during setup. When I show people the phone, Nexus 6P if anyone wants to keep score, it often unlocks it when I do not expect the press to which you will likely not experience on TouchID and definitely will not experience on the nonsense Samsung calls a fingerprint scanner.
  • Oddly enough, I manged to cut my right index finger and my 5X's fingerprint reader continued to unlock the phone flawlessly. I was quite impressed by this, in fact. Could this be down to different implementations between the 5X and the 6P? More on topic, since the cut didn't impede my ability to smoothly unlock, I can't verify whether or not my fingerprint reader is actually learning anything since I've never had to use a different part of the same finger. The sensor has failed to read my finger about three times in the whole time I've had my phone (a little over a month), and those were when my finger was way off target, so I can't fault it for those.
  • You also have to wonder how secure it really is. Try using a toe and see if it unlocks.
  • It's not the sensor, you're dead, you just don't realize it yet. JK
  • Wait, seriously.... The author expects a fingerprint reader designed for ease of use and security to change its behavior because the finger was cut and the print essentially changed? That doesn't sound like a realistic expectations at all to me. Even with learning over time, the print has changed at least temporarily. /smh with these first world problems. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I didn't expect it to know that my finger was sliced.
  • You just expected it to know you were using a different part of the finger that it regularly see's. Parts that over time it should of had time to log and learn from, with the numerous presses of daily use. But if it recognized the rest of the finger, wouldn't over time it be able to also expect the cut?
  • Total fail for me, too. Doesn't work at all when I wear gloves. :)
  • Lol Posted via the Nexus 6P!
  • I don't get it. Should work. Are putting enough pressure on there? It won't unlock if the stylus is in backwards, so you should check that also.
  • It has definitely not been learning. There are times that it doesn't even get the print that I know I have saved. Let's hope they get to work on this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Would it help if you registered the scarred fingerprint?
  • I have a Nexus 6 so I cant say anything. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ maybe when I get my 6P
  • This is exactly who I don't use fingerprint to unlock my device. Dam It Feels Good To Be A Google Gangster
  • I do, and I have the crappiest version of a fingerprint reader (the Note 4). I used to use pattern unlock, but if you tilt the phone a little, you can see what the basic pattern is by the finger smudges. Not terribly secure, is it? And there's no way I'm going to type in a password every time. A pin is a bit easier, but I'd still rather swipe my finger on the home button. It works 90% of the time. I'd much rather have the 6P fingerprint sensor than the Note 4 sensor. I just think it's funny when people discover these things about "the best Android Phone of 2015", not to mention all the other things Google didn't deliver on, like wireless charging, multi-window and dark themes.
  • I actually like the fingerprint sensor on my Note 4. It works 90% of the time for me. I guess I got used to swiping the scanner on my HP laptop before I bought the phone. Having said that they definitely don't need to bring it back as a feature lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • A pattern or pin is more secure than a fingerprint, just an fyi Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, it isn't Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not to be morbid, but someone can knock you out and press your finger to the scanner and access your phone (or, depending on where you live, just, you know, remove your fingers). If you're unconscious, they can't get your password out of you. Worst case? sure, but fingerprints really aren't more secure than a long complex password.
  • I guess you could say anyone can point a weapon at you and tell you to unlock your phone. Google Nexus 6P
  • What is? An extremely limited scenario of slicing your finger open and having to use a different finger temporarily? A strange reason to not use something. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Or perhaps his point was that it is a hassle when things like this happen. Dirty fingers? Sweat? Gloves? A burn, a blister? Or maybe it just doesn't like you that day. Pins and Patterns are more secure. And Pins work every time for me.
  • I didn't even know that the sensor was supposed to "learn" our fingerprint by the time... Well, just right after I read the article and some comments about the sensor not working with the somebody's tip, I tried with my 6P and although I don't recall of using my tip during the initial 6 scans to set it up, it is surprisingly working with me today...
  • Did they specifically say the accuracy would get better over time? They said it would improve with each use but improve what? Accuracy? Security? When you register your finger prints the instructions tell you to move your finger around... I get the sides and tip of my finger and it works fricken flawlessly. hell I put my mushroom stamp on that bad boy just in case I'm making your mother pancakes in bed. I think this guys getting his panties in a bunch over some stupid stuff. This all comes down to what?!........ User error.
  • No, it comes down to the sensor not doing what Google claimed. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Lack of finger control. And yes, that is what she said. Seriously, people will find anything to ****** about, even with one of the best phones on the market. Oh and if you look at it in just the right angle in sunlight, you can't see the screen. So much of their claim of good outdoor use!!!
  • Well, there's a simple experiment you can do to see how well it "learns": Register a fingerprint with just the tip of your finger. After the registration is complete repeatedly lock and unlock your phone, and gradually (tenths of a millimetre at a time) move your finger away from the tip and more toward the middle of the print (or any other part of your finger that hasn't been registered yet). A fingerprint reader that *actually* learns will eventually let you go all the way up to the joint, possibly further. I don't have a Nexus 5X or 6P, I only have an iPhone 5S, but can confirm that it works with TouchID. Can anyone with a 5X or 6P try it out and report back with the results?
  • This is exactly what I did when I got my phone. It definitely knows a larger area of my finger now than when I first registered the finger.
  • Which device are you running?
  • 6p, but the 5x has the same exact sensor so it should work the same.
  • Bdfortin - You nailed it. That is how it should work, and the main purpose is so the sensor is not as fussy about the precise finger location or angle on the sensor. Fewer false negatives to deal with over time if it works as intended.
  • This is some serious nitpicking lol. It's a better scanner than literally every other phone out there. Why complicate it? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google made a claim. If the claim is inaccurate people are going to call BS.
  • Exactly, why is that so hard for people to understand? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly. And that claim is noted. But still, it's some serious nitpicking. Posted via the Android Central App
  • But if people aren't going out of their way to actually let the scanner scan a little more of their finger each time they use it than was registered, it really can't learn, can it?
  • They got to write about something. I must admit they are creative. If I cut my finger, I wouldn't have even thought about it and entered the pin. Let alone I could write a whole article about it.
  • Mine's about the same. Although when I initially set Imprint up, I used different portions of my index finger (very top, bottom, sides, etc) to ensure I got a good read no matter how I placed my finger on the sensor when picking up my phone.
  • I was able to confirm it was learning right away. Set up a new fingerprint, when that's done link the phone and try to unlock it with a part of your finger that will be rejected, nothing extreme just post that you didn't initially use. When that's rejected unlock the phone with a part of the finger that is closest to that failed spot but will be accepted, relock the phone and continue unlocking by slightly adjusting the finger so you start near the accepted spot and edge closer to the rejected spot. After 2-3 tries it will accept the rejected area. Is experimenting with this on day one because I was interested to see if it really did learn and it obviously does. Asking it to learn about your cut finger I think is a bit more than is to be expected. That's not asking it to learn a larger area of your print but to relearn a part it already knows.
  • Mine has gotten worse. I attribute the decline in recognition due to the fact that my hands get very dry during the winter months. This causes them to have small cracks and I believe this throws off the fingerprint sensor.
  • Lick your fingers before unlocking. It works, I swear! Haha, no it doesn't, wait, it might. Try it and report back. Or maybe do a poll.
  • That's why you should register both index fingers, plus register different parts of your finder tip so that it will recognize even the size part of your print. This should have been a no brainer
  • The underlying topic here, as to whether Nexus Imprint has actually improved or if it's really "smart" the way it was advertised, well that's all good stuff. But expecting Nexus Imprint to know that your original fingerprint and your fingerprint that has drastically (and temporarily) changed due to a cut are actually the very same fingerprints... well that's unreasonable. Fingerprint scanners aren't only meant to identify you—they're also meant to identify you from everyone else out there. If you expect Nexus Imprint to start making judgement calls like "oh, all of a sudden there's a huge % of this fingerprint that's different from the one I have on file, but it must be him so unlock", then really it's nothing more than a glorified swipe to unlock and can't be called a "security feature." There's a big difference between expecting technology to be "smart" and expecting technology to be omnipotent.
  • I literally have 0 issues with the imprint reader. It's super quick and captures my finger from multiple angles. Also a LPT: scan multiple fingers in just in case you do cut your finger. I have a finger from both hands logged to the phone so I can open it if the other cant.
  • What I have done is created multiple scans for both index fingers. Success rate is quite high after I did that. But yeah I never noticed it getting better over time when I had just the single imprint.
  • Are you serious? Just add the index finger of your OTHER hand to the set of fingers the device will recognize. Problem solved. You devoted an entire article to this because you have a boo-boo on your finger? Please.
  • Did you read the article at all? He says in the article he could use another finger. That's not what the article is about. It's about whether the phone is learning, as Google claimed. Which it doesn't appear to be. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Learning what exactly? Is it your finger print or is it not? Sheeesh, you guys are so fracking picky.
  • I've had no problems with mine. I made sure to use as much of my finger as possible while setting it up so it learned even the parts I wouldn't normally use. I think the whole "learning" thing is just to fill in any gaps between those original scans when it detects two parts it already knows on each side of an unknown space. I'd say though that with the "map" of your finger changed so suddenly it'd probably be best to accept that there are limits to technology and rescan your finger.
  • So because he cut his finger and the phone doesn't recognize his other fingers now, the feature sucks ? They haven't made a phone yet that doesn't require some sort of human input, its coming, just not yet. I must be missing something ? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't get this article - it seems to be covering two separate issues. Based on what you say in your first paragraph, the fingerprint sensor is actually doing an amazing job by accepting the part of your finger that isn't affected by the "slice" when you press it with the uninjured part of your finger. It has enough images to deal with the now missing data. Are you expecting a fingerprint sensor to deal with healing flesh and let you continue to press your now wounded finger against it the same way? Now, if you want to talk about this learning process, I agree. I'm not sure my fingerprint sensor has learned anything new since I set it up. But... I don't expect it to anticipate and prepare for my injuries and how they will affect the input it gets. Still love your work! :)
  • Biometrics is actually not that accurate or secure Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly. I won't use it. What would be a better article is for the author to try to get it to unlock without his actual finger. Like a picture of his finger print, or a dusted print on tape or wax impression. Make it fun! My guess is, it could be done more easily the people think.
  • yeah... gotta say... you get a big ol' #fail on this one Russell.
  • I'm not sure i understand the problem??? Your saying that because your fingerprint has essentially changed you would have liked the phone to eventually let a different fingerprint from what known to the phone to unlock, just because you have been using that wrong fingerprint every day for a month??? I applaud google for not unlocking the phone. I assume when google spoke of it learning it meant that the fingerprint system would learn so that you don't have to be exact every time, but you had to at least use the original fingerprint. Am i missing the problem??? That's like saying your upset that someone who has a similar but not exact fingerprint as you are not able to log in to your phone even though they have been trying everyday for a month.
  • First, you need to know how fingerprint sensor works. it has a model for your fingerprint in terms of some numbers, instead of whole image of your finger. It records some numbers corresponding to your fingerprint(read the as 'coefficients'). Their learning over time means, it keep on changing those values as you use the fingerprint sensor more and more. Each time you put your finger on it, it calculates those coefficients from the print it's getting and checks with the values it stored, if it is within the permissible range around the stored values, it opens the phone, and in the process it updates the coefficients once so that next time you get nicer experience. So, if you cut your fingertip, that may cause a drastic change of those coefficients, and will fall out of the permissible range for unlocking. Again, it has to make sure that no other person can unlock the phone, and do you have any idea how your fingerprint matches with me?? It's 99.99%. If it has to differentiate between you and me reliying on that .01%, that permissible range should be very less. So, don't expect it will change its coefficients that much, after you cut your fingertip, since change is now more that .01% surely. That means your fingerprint has changed dude, and stop crying like a child that you are deceived and try to understand why your phone can't recognize you.
  • Proloy, perfect explanation. It's all down to numbers. It's a mathematical equation Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm amazed how many people can't read, can't bother to read or simply cannot comprehend articles like this one.
  • It's been working pretty much 100% of the time for me. It's pretty amazing. The Z5C gets it like 66% of the time and I thought it was good at the time. Google Nexus 6P
  • It worked perfectly from the start so what is there to improve?
  • I have only had the phone for about a week and it's worked pretty much flawlessly for me. I think the disconnect may be between what Google meant by what it said and what you interpreted it to mean. My guess is that Google just meant the accuracy will improve over time, not necessarily that the sensor will learn new parts of your print. When they say "learn more about your unique print" to me that's referring to the print you registered in set up, not your entire fingerprint if that makes sense. So since the tip of your finger was not used to register initially, the sensor is not going to learn it. It will however make sure the parts of your print that were registered are recognized with increased accuracy over time.
  • Humm not sure if its better or not.. It almost never fails u use more or less constantly (2-3 times an hour easy) and i get like one bad read a week or so.
  • Seriously? You're complaining about slicing your finger and expecting for the phone to still work? Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haha I know right? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have 3 fingers recorded. Two are mine and one is my wife. Been flawless so far..
  • I think your expectations are based off a lack of comprehension of what was said.
  • Let's chop off a finger and complain that our bloody nub won't unlock the phone.
  • Sure, you go first. But wait, you have more fingers to use. Better get busy.
  • I like the poll results haha.
  • The Nexus 6p works better than when I first set it up. Russell, when mapping your fingerprint for the first time, you have to press the six different areas of your fingerprint, not just the main area. If you do this during set up, it is seamless. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I do not know if it is learning or not, but my Nexus has not yet failed to recognize my finger a single time.
  • It's been working perfectly for me. Just by pressing the tiniest bit of my finger it unlocks it. Posted via the Android Central App on my Frost Nexus 6P
  • I'm glad this piece was written because I was wondering the exact same thing not that long ago. When I first set up my finger prints I chose my right index, right middle, and left index. I have noticed it being faster with my left index (which I use the most) then the other two. I get more failed reads from the other fingers and rarely if ever do I get a misreading on my main finger.
  • I made two scans of the same finger and its a bit faster and has a higher chance of working
  • My Nexus 6P imprint has worked perfectly for me. I've noticed that its become more sensitive. Any part of my fingertip will unlock. I don't see an issue. Wash your hands, maybe? :)
  • All these articles about how the fingerprint lock on the Nexus finally caught Apple. Except it really didn't (not even close) and practically no apps work with it. So there's that.
  • That's why when you map it in the first place you press different parts of your finger. I have a verus case on my 5x and never have a problem with it, whether I press the top of my finger or the center. Remapping a finger takes 10 seconds, just remap your f'd up finger and stop complaining.
  • This whole article is pretty dumb. The first thing I did with my 6p was to register three fingers , two with my right hand and one with the left. Posted via the Android Central App
  • to change grades, erase or change criminal record, hacking email accounts, hacking icloud, dropbox, cctv cameras, home security systems, hacking social media accounts (instagram, twitter, whosay, facebook, snapchat) , for fake ids/passport and license. CONTACT – Email: Matrixhackka007 @ gmail dot com
  • I don't know if anyone else has tried this but you can train the fingerprint reader to get a better reading of your finger from different angles just like you can with the iOS devices. Settings->Security->Nexus Imprint. After placing the finger you wanna train you'll feel a vibration, which I take it means it registered the new angle of the finger. Tried this and now I can unlock my 5X with the tip of my fingers. I assume maybe this is what Google meant by the scanner improving over time? Just saying you can train the scanner to take other parts of your finger, you just gotta train it.
  • My answer is: sometimes good, sometimes bad.
    1. First set it up on 11/4/2015, it took at least 6 or 7 cycles for me to get one fingerprint registered. Most of the time it would time out because I couldn't complete the circle with 6 "good" scans. But, once I did get one good print, it worked fine.
    2. About 10 days later, I tried adding a second print, and it registered in 6 quick steps, not one press was rejected (didn't register). So I then added the first print again. It continued to work fine, for a while.
    3. About a week ago, just after New Year's Day, it started taking 4 tries to unlock the phone, mostly ran out of tries and I had to use my PIN. I tried adding prints, but ran into the not registering problem described in 1. above. I gave up and used my PIN for a week.
    4. During halftime of a playoff game, I decided to remove all registered prints and start all over. I couldn't get my left index to register, but the right index eventually registered and worked to unlock.
    5. A day later (1/10/2016), I tried adding my left index again, and it took in 6 segments, none rejected. It unlocks fine again, So what's the problem? i have no idea. I tried washing my hands, using hand lotion, and cleaning my sensor with a cotton swab. Nothing worked, until the phone decided it was ready to work again. So, maybe it DOES learn, but it also FORGETS, and has to learn again?
  • I've been quite impressed with it actually, even though I've only had the 6p for about a month. It was OK to start, but it's definitely getting better. Talking specifically about cuts, I've gotten quite a few small-medium ones right in the middle of where I recorded my fingerprint, and while initially, the phone didn't like it, the past week or two it's gotten a lot better at recognizing my cut up fingers, nearly 100%, even with cuts coming and going. A bigger problem for me is when my fingers are waterlogged, but it seems to be getting better at that too. Early on, just a thorough hand washing could throw it off, but that problem seems to be gone now. It still doesn't like my fingers after a shower, dishwashing, or building up sweat in nitrile gloves, but as opposed to never working before, I get maybe a 10% success rate on the first try, which goes up to about 40% success if I move it around a bit before it hits the attempt limit. In these less than ideal situations, using a bit more pressure seems to help too, likely due to a better or wider area of contact., as opposed to barely touching it under normal circumstances.
  • When I used the 6P for the 2 months that I had it (work phone), I can honestly say, that the 6p's sensor is beyond anything I have ever used. It is lightning fast, light years ahead of Apple / Samsung / Huawei / LG sensors. It was honestly TOO quick, and way too accurate. I would literally brush my hand down my phone while going to grab it out of my pocket, or I would go to pick it up from the table, while sliding my hand around to try and get my finger in position, and it would already be unlocked. My personal phone is the Note 5 , and I wouldnt even consider using its sensor as a locking option. The sensor is a joke compared to the 6P
  • This is a really dumb article and discussion. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly. Can't believe this article got the green light lol. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hey jerky, add all them fruity fingers, done flipperhead.
  • Works great except when my finger is wet (like just washed my hands and didn't totally dry them), which is then usually a fail. I haven't noticed any changes in how it works.
  • Why don't you grab a Nokia 3120 and shut the hell up. Geez us Petes is there nothing you first world idiots won't harp on and act like you're all so damned smart and unsatisfied? Seriously... Don't use it. Donate your nexus 6 to some poor needy child who's stuck with a Galaxy S4. Oh the horror! The horror! Good gosh this article and the subsequent Waaaaambulance comments are both hilarious and sickening at the same time. It's like one of those parody movies where everything is over the top and blatant. Get over yourselves and go do something that matters.
  • Nobody is hating on anything. Learn to read. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Another child left behind. Damn you, George Bush!
  • I burned my right index finger and the sensor will no longer recognize that finger. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I voted that mine is about the same as when I set it up, but to be fair for me it has pretty much worked perfect from day one. I have never had it not work when I have used it so there is no way for me to really tell if it is getting better. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No offense to Mr. Holly or the article, maybe the tech is not working as promised, maybe it is and we just do not understand it accurately, either we (the end user) will never know. Having said that and the rub as far as I am concerned is that Mr. Holly can actually do something for the community other than author an article, he can reach out to Google and as Press he can further the issue much farther along and much higher up than us the end users can.. We can call Support, speak to someone who is generally really nice, but does not have the authority to further this issue or any issue along, Mr. Holly as Press can contact folks directly through Press Relations/Media Relations/etc. and actually get the right eyes on the issue. Writing an article is great, but it does not do anything to improve the situation, I have a buddy who is a blogger for a different industry and when he has encountered issues or when his readers bring issues to his attention, he is able to not only write about said issue, but he can contact the Media Relations and further the issue along, many times resulting in a fix. Just my two cents,
  • TO be honest, i don't know if it is better or not, because it has always worked extremely well. I find the fingerprint scanner to be even better than LG's knock-on which I used before. The only way I can think of improving it would be to have it on the side like Sony does. That way you don't have to pick it up from the desk etc. having said that, the placement on the back is extremely natural to use.
  • I feel like mine is learning. I can unlock upside down, side ways, at virtually any angle, more angles than I initially set up that's for damn sure. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You know what amazes me? How they can make a fingerprint scanner that works so well in most cases, yet screw up so many words when using swipe input on a keyboard! Or should I say: You now wart a Mazda see?
  • Never noticed that if you set up a new print for a couple of weeks it will occasionally ask for the PIN when that print is used with a dialogue along the lines of "a PIN is needed for additional security". There's your learning going on.. I've done what many posters have done - set up the same finger more than once. It works well.
  • The fingerprint crew is probably busyy trying to figure out why their flagship tablet that just got released can't connect to WiFi when your right next to the router and the touchscreen acts possessed. Pixel C *cough *cough. - sent from my Nexus 9 that can't register letters typed on time and constantly freezes up.
  • All my fingertips work perfectly fine at unlocking my phone........on the lockscreen :-) Posted via the GS6 Active, aka GS6 M.E. (Manly Edition)
  • It does learn. I registrar a small part of my finger tip. Now after using the phone for several weeks it now unlocks with other areas of my finger tip.
  • My 6P picks up my finger print every time, even with just half my finger on. Like others have said, I made sure I scanned as many different spots as possible on my index finger during the first set-up. Your touching it wrong ;-)
  • I've registered the same finger multiple times so that I can register it from every conceivable angle. I have close to 0 read errors now. Just do this with the finger you most often use to unlock the device and you will see much more accuracy.
  • Wait a MINUTE here! You're not impressed that the Nexus doesn't learn that you sliced your finger causing the print of your finger to change? I think you're being silly. Your print changed because something abruptly changed about it. That's like expecting it to "learn" that just because you decided to use a different finger than the one you set yup that it's actually you anyway because you keep trying. Not gonna happen, and shouldn't! You have a much better chance of resetting up the finger imprint of your damaged finger and the phone will realize that it's healing and you won't to set it up later once it's healed...over time. If security is the objective of imprint, it works as it should and should not work as you seem to suggest. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Do people realize the fingerprint reader is outsourced to a swedish company called 'fingerprint card' ??
  • i haven't any problem with the N6P finger print. It works 99.9% of the time. The only time it doesn't seem to work is when the finger is wet like when I'm at the gym and try to unlock the phone. Otherwise, it if fast, responsive and I really like it.
  • I haven't had any issues with the Nexus 5x fingerprint scanner. I guess this article is for people who complain about amazing things not working to their standards. What an amazing time to be alive that for everything innovative and new that comes out there's 100 petulant people to complain about it.
  • I use a spigen case on my 6P and have never had any issues with the sensor.
  • I'm using both an iPhone 6 plus and an n6P and the Nexus is faster at recognizing my finger(s) (remember you can program more than one finger). As for Google's claim that it gets better over time this could be the power of suggestion, without further explanation of how it gets better its like oxygen, lol. Can't see it but they swear it's there. Lol. I'm saying it could be placebo promising. Back to my experience with the finger print sensor it has been really good. As for the rest of Marshmallow, eh, no. Update on the n5 broke my SMS and voice mails. Now on the n6p had some issues but with recent update works more reliably. Now with the update it also fudge gmail and play music. Gmail doesn't sync reliably grabbing a bunch of emails at once later in the day. None of my settings changed, app data cleared, cache cleared readded accounts. Play music is telling me that the music I request is unavailable? Then if I exit the app and clear it from recent, it works. Need more stability Google. I think they are baking to many versions of the OS and with project fi things are getting wonkier. My friend also has the gmail issue on his n6. Tried the same things It did not fix it. Happened out of nowhere. (Or since the last update, either OS or Apps).
  • By the way, props for the Invader Zim (Gir) reference.
  • You mad, Bro.
    *insert Cam'ron
  • Fanboyisms aside, this is without a doubt one area Apple got so right. It may take a little more setup but the Fingerprint scanner on my iDevices crush my Nexus one. I hope the next batch of fingerprint scanners on the 2016 devices get better.
  • Crushes? I thought the Nexus 6P has been proven to have the better fingerprint sensor. It's working 100% of the time for me. Quickly, too. I even show it off to iPhone owners who were so astonished by it. Google Nexus 6P
  • That's the problem with people claiming fanboyism, they usually go right ahead and say something fanboyish themeselves. Both sensors are good, so i wouldn't call either one crushing the other. Bot works great and unlock most of the time... but by my own experience it seems like nexus is a little faster.
  • In my experience the Nexus is only faster in the "ideal" situation when you can get a nice firm press on the sensor. However it is much more unreliable in terms of partial prints. When I'm in the car with my wife for example, which means her phone is connected to the bluetooth (the husbands understand this, lol) and not mine so no trusted source, first of all the iPhone easily wins out here on placement of front vs back. (Of course the trade off is the chin that rivals Jay Leno.) But in trying to use that fingerprint while driving the iPhone will grab me every time. The Nexus really falters here because hard to get that nice print. On partial prints (which is really what this article is address with his issue of the cut finger) iPhone wins out for me every single time without fail. Combine that with near identical performance in ideal situations, that's why I give the iPhone a major thumbs up over the Nexus in terms of fingerprint recognition.
  • The sensor actually sucked big time after a while. Erased the prints and started over, and its been fine since. But it's not being better either.
  • I've had the same phone for years so I don't have any experience with the nexus phones but I do have a question. If the phone reads finger print patterns then how would that be completely secure? What would stop someone that picked up the owner of the phones finger print on a piece of tape or a glove? I'd rather use passwords. Also, I can't help it. GIR reporting for duty.
    GIR? What does the G stand for?
    I don't know.
    *robot acts crazy*
    Um, is it supposed to be stupid?
    It's not stupid, it's advanced!
  • I don't know if mine is improving. But, I owned the original Moto Atrix for about two years. While I did not hate the fingerprint experience on that phone, I can tell you that the one on my Nexus is a huge leap over the reliability on that phone. A cut seems like a pretty drastic change to me, and I'm not sure the gradual type of "learning" a fingerprint sensor should be doing could accommodate something like that. I'm not even sure it SHOULD accommodate something like that, since you don't want it to get too loosey-goosey on the identification.
  • I just registered a fingerprint of tip of index finger on my 5X and guess what ..in just about 5-6 times slowly covering the tip of finger and gradually coming down.. And now I'm able to unlock with the middle of the finger.. So obviously it's learning and storing the updated fingerprints. But for that it should have large portion of known print and small portion of new print of the finger. It will then surely keep adding it to the fingerprint. But you obviously cannot expect it to suddenly recognize the unknown portion when you have an injury and had never exposed that part to the sensor before
  • I haven't had trouble with it honestly, but hey 6 months down the road things might change.
  • I'd love for Nexus Imprint to merely stay working as well as when I first set it up. As it is, I can't use it at all. Every time I set it up, after awhile (a day or two, not sure), it stops working 100%. Then I have to delete the existing print(s) and start over. It's not worth it at all. During the brief moments when it does work, I've found that it does seem to learn, especially when I use the Finger Learner app.
  • The scanner works fine, the op probably should have scanned more than one finger when he set it up or just enter the PIN. It's not near the crisis he makes it out to be.