Tired of typing long, obscure passwords on a phone screen to access your favourite sites? Of course you are. That’s why you use a password vault like LastPass. Services like this mean you only have to remember one master password, so all your others can be as unmemorable or as hard to type as you wish. Of course, if your LastPass password is also an obscure string of random characters it’s not much help, is it?
Which is why it’s interesting news that LastPass has updated its Android app to add support for the fingerprint reader built into the Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s the first major third party application to take advantage of the Galaxy S5’s biometric scanner that we get to use in South Africa (PayPal can use the fingerprint reader to authenticate purchases, but only if you live overseas).
The new feature in LastPass combines with the other big addition that rolled out in the last major update to the Android app. That update saw the addition of an in-app password prompt that allowed users to copy and paste their usernames and passwords from inside the app they were trying to log into without having to go backwards and forwards between it and the LastPass application.
In the latest version of the LastPass for Android app the password prompt, asking you to confirm your account password each time the LastPass windows appears, can be replaced with a prompt for your fingerprint to be scanned, as long as you’re a Galaxy S5 owner that is.
We’ve tried out the new feature on our office S5, and it’s looking good – working flawlessly around 95% of the time. There’s a few bugs – if you don’t require LastPass to fill in your details for an app and you dismiss the window prompting you for your password, the prompt at the bottom of the display remains. The only way to get rid of it is to reboot the Galaxy S5, or just scan in your fingerprint each time it prompts you to avoid the problem altogether.