FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update

Welcome to the community forum.

There was no official Android 12, the Fairphone OS upgrade went from Android 11 to 13.

Manual installation is still available for Android 11 (as well as 10 or 9) …


@Marta_Artigas Does FP consider the possibility of writing your own firmware for the sensor that would raise its trustowrthiness? Or is the reason Google doesn’t trust it somewhere in the hardware and thus not fixable on the current hardware?


With users having the option to stick to Android 11, will you keep sending security updates for that version as well?


Welcome to the community forum.

If the last years with prior Android versions are any indication, security update support for base Android 11 will end somewhen in early 2024.
Might be enough to bridge the time to the Fairphone 5 probably, but whether Fairphone have the resources to service 2 Android versions simultaneously, I don’t know.

(I don’t use the fingerprint sensor at all … and even if I would, I’m not using Fairphone OS, on custom ROMs not bound to Google certification the fingerprint sensor continues to be accepted as before. Banking Apps might not like custom ROMs, though. Tough call then.)


This is not true.
I have to use an app for authentication when logging in to certain webservices. It is only possible to use this app using my fingerprint and not by a pin or password.

This is a real problem for me and i dont have the time to backup all data on my device, so i can also not easily go back to version 11 without losing data…


Would you mind adding it in the wiki below once you reach the basic “trust level” to be allowed to edit wiki posts?


Is there no option with the app in question to reset, not use a fingerprint and use a code etc.

What app is this you are using?


No it is not possible, it requires a fingerprint sensor to work.

The app is called “Digitales Amt” and is used to access services related to the government. This also includes financial services from the government which makes it super annoying that it does not work…

it’s also used for digital signatures that i use very often.


This means, that this information will be better communicated to the user. That’s good. But it is not a solution to the problem.

Will there be any solution at all? Maybe by rolling out a different firmware to the fingerprint reader? Or a user-selectable switch to accept not-so-safe fingerprint readers for all apps?
Or anything else?

Any information about that would be helpful and end speculations.
Thank you very much!


Before people start downgrading by themselves … can anyone can say if the anti-rollback mechanism that bricked some FP4s now affects the FP3/FP3+ on Android 13, too?


hmh I am not sure but I suppose this firmware for that fingerprint reader is closed-source and not openly available source code. So fairphone might not have any rights to release modified firmware.
But regardless of that:

Since these security measures are implemented by Google, I can’t imagine how Fairphone could get around these security decisions without loosing Google certification and thus all Google-related things like GPS (Googl Play Services) and GMS (Google Mobile Services).

I use the LineageOS fork iodéOS and so far all my banking apps are working flawlessly even with fingerprint and Magisk Root activated. :slight_smile:
But that might depend on every specifiv app, of course.


I agree, that’s what I am thinking, too. But still: We are just users, speculating. Would be nice to have an official statement, how Fairphone will continue with this issue.

In the end it is as simple as that: We need a solution.


It would be helpful to nonetheless quickly release the manual install file for Android 13 (perhaps with a link to this topic here for a warning) … https://support.fairphone.com/hc/en-us/articles/360048050332.

Since a number of users have upgraded already and are experiencing other issues apart from the fingerprint sensor situation, a manual install from scratch could be used to determine whether certain issues are really due to the Fairphone OS version itself or rather due to the in-place upgrading process.


for those wondering about custom ROM


Do I understand correctly, that all people who already installed the official Android 13 have to reinstall with LineageOS to get this working again?

Seems that is an option or wait to see what Faiphone come up with

If you need the fingerprint functionality in Apps which refuse to work with it now, and if Fairphone can’t somehow come up with something to counter Google’s requirements, then it seems currently you would indeed be left with custom ROMs which don’t adopt Google’s requirements, like LineageOS.

It’s important to note that security-aware Apps (especially banking Apps) might not like running on custom ROMs by default, so some consideration is needed with this approach, too.
The closest to a Google certified stock OS in my view should be LineageOS + Google Apps and services (via installer projects like MindTheGapps) + Google’s device registration for the use of Google Apps and services on non-certified Android OSes (https://www.google.com/android/uncertified/ to play it safe with one’s own Google account).


Martas explanation is better late than never …I suppose? Thanks to the dedicated angels, people with knowledge, and others already burned by this “upgrade” we kind of knew already though.

I’m pleased that the rollout of A13 has been paused. I’m in total agreement with Soupape50 in this now closed thread . I think the OTA update should be halted permanently, well unless a solution is offered (seems unlikely). If members of the commune want Droid13 knowing the side effects, then let them download it manually. As this removes phone functionality it certainly should not be pushed.

I will continue using A11 until the time comes when the various apps I use stop supporting it. A11 is supported by Google until the end of this year I believe? How about Fairphone supporting A11 until its end of life date?

If the problem is the sensor, I will happily pay (a fair price) to upgrade it to a new module, I’d even put a deposit down. Perhaps FP should poll to see how much interest there is in this option? Solution may not be as simple as replacing the sensor though. I hope @Roli gets a reply from Fairphone on this issue.

Beta testing : What is the point of beta testing if after a set period of time, FP roll out that release regardless of negative reports by their testers?? Does FP understand that the principle of beta testing is to iron out bugs before a major release? Companies often release several beta versions before settling on a stable one. Question for beta testers. Have you ever reported a serious flaw, and if so, did Fairphone rectify the issue before general release?

I’d rather not use a custom ROM. I’m just not that confident I wouldn’t do permanent damage, maybe kill my phone entirely. However, if FP don’t come up with any sensible solution before my favourite apps stop supporting A11, I think I may investigate Lineage. Thanks very much to @yvmuell for posting the link.


I’m one of those Beta testers.
The issue was well known but not seen as a deal breaker maybe as not that many testers had a big issue.

Out in the real world even 10% maybe or some 2000 users that find it a problem 10% of beta testers? there aren’t 100 even.

Clearly more people use apps that are effected than Fairphone new about or anticipated. But back in April is was being looked at and of course now is again

Our aging device currently can’t really cope with updated Android biometrics test requirements. Android’s biometrics requirements are documented here: Biometria  |  Android Open Source ProjectBIOMETRIC_WEAK (Class 2) just isn’t allowed to access the Android keystore (it’s still usable for other contexts, including lock screen).

So it must have been decided to to push A13 for other reasons, and yes a big WARNING on the notification for the new OS would have been greatly appreciated by some


Yeah, I know you are, and I appreciate the fact you took time to report the issue. 100 beta testers is sensible. You’d probably have picked out most faults between you all as not everyone uses every feature. Usually I’d say the more testers the merrier, but there needs to be enough people in the dev team to read the reports. Did FP give you a response to your feedback?

FP likely opted for security over functionability, but as I said previously that decision should be down to the end user. I agree with you that a warning should have been given.

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