FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update

It sounds a bit hacky, to be honest, but the original “degradation” of the sensor was done in a completely software way too. In the end, the OS is in control of the machine (whatever the OS and the machine are), so an app can either trust it or trust it (which is why some apps refuse to work if they detect rooting or other stuff which could change the default OS behavior for critical stuff).

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At least all my banking apps have been working flawlessly with the fingerprint sensor on Android 13 (iodéOS) for months. (ABS, Airlock 2FA TWINT, PayPal)…

I just tried Digitaes Amt. However, it doesn’t like my rooted phone as soon as I try to log in.
Maybe someone can try it without rooted FP3 on LOS/iodéOS/etc.? :slight_smile:


Hi, I want to delay upgrading to AOS 13 as long as I can - is it possible to block the daily upgrade notification, it gets quite tiresome!

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Seriously, the problem is not the fingerprint sensor (okay it is). The problem is that you decided to roll out this update. 95% of all user will not read this notes, because they trust you and I absolutely disagree with the assessment, that this is a small inconvenience or a low key issue. Convenience is key, at least for anything security related. Using the fingerprint sensor 100 times a day is something totally different as to enter a strong passwort 100 times a day (especially if you do not reuse passwords and use special characters).

As long as the password is exclusivly to your phone and can not be used to access your account via other means, a weaker password is not too problematic. Often this is not the case and the same credentials are used for all ways of accessing(webbrowser, pc-app,…) the account. Entering once or twice a day a random 20 character password with special characters is acceptable, doing it 10, 20 or 50 times a day (especially using a smartphone) will definitly result in password reuse and short passwords and that will decrease security.

In this discussion someone said that while being in a crowd he feels safer using the fingerprint sensor instead of the pin and he is not wrong. While in general the pin is more secure than the fingerprint, this is only true as long as the person did not see you entering the pin. If you have some experience, you can pretty accurately guess the pin.

In a lab environment not using the fingerprint sensor might be more secure. In real life with real user I have to heavily disagree with this assessment.

You rolled out an update that made at least some critical app unusable and reduces security in a real life environment. This is unacceptable.

Yes, the app should have a fallback to pin-code, but you never ever expect others to follow the guidelines. I am software developer and you simply do not do this. It will cause problems in 99.99999%. Thats like driving a car and expecting everyone to follow the rules, no exceptions. This will definitly result in an accident and you are at least partially responsable.

I do not blame you for the issue with the fringerprint sensor itself, but I blame you for the way you handled this issue. I also do not like that my FP3 told me, just a couple of minutes ago, to install the update, my FP3 would work perfectly fine with the update. If you did not solve the problem with the fingerprint sensor in the last couple of minutes (and i highly doubt that), than NO it would not. There is a known issue with the update and my FP3 literally lies to me.

By the way, my wife smartphone is a Huawei, the last generation that recieves Andriod updates. It is older and cheaper than my FP3 and its fingerprint sensor works perfectly.
So i can not really agree with: our users get much more from us than they would get from any comparable device on the market of similar hardware and age
This might be a special case but at the moment i can only agree with: You are most likely not worse than your competitors in general.
This is your third smartphone and you already failed your target of longevity. I personally find that very disappointing, because longevity was the most important fact for me buying a FP3.


Just to clarify what we talk about when mentioning “legacy” options.
It means getting an appointment weeks ahead of time, travelling in the best half an hour to an office (usually between 0800 and 1200), waiting for a bit (an hour or so), then filing stuff in person. Alternatively you might be able to mail it using the postal service, if you are able to find a post box, which itself is emptied every two days.

There was an option till about two years ago I want to say where you could use the old app which just sent you an OTP. But that was discontinued and replaced for everyone using the app. And reverting to this version is not possible.

Also some functions are not possible in person like checking the current status of your filing.

But I agree that forcing an app is not a great idea, especially in a country which is relatively old. Not the country itself but the population.

Forcing stuff is never a good idea. It does not matter if it is an app or some other thing.
@jedesnal Thank you for inquiring with a-trust. This is very much appreciated.


@mikiballester Thank you for your post about the fingerprint issue!

Are you aware that there are some other bugs with A13 that have been discussed [here],(FP3+: Issues with Android 13 update) for example? I also found another bug which I did not post, as this is just a user forum.

As there is no official bug tracker: Is there any other “official” way to report bugs?
Sending a bug report to support does not help. Looks like they don’t have access to an internal bug tracker as well. And obviously the support team are not Fairphone employees but hired external people, which never have been holding a Fairphone device in their hands.

Thank you for any information how to file bug reports efficiently, so they really reach the dev team!

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Maybe some of you Austrians can also send an e-mail? I have sent it to ‘servicecenter@a-trust.at’. Thanks.


I’m sure you know that this is done by contacting support.

In my experience, as I tried to explain, this is not always really working and I doubt all the reports are really forwarded, so the right persons are aware about.
So I thought that there may be a way to report things more direct to the dev team.

But nevermind, if this is not the case, then it is like this.

So there is not as discussed her in the forum through various topics in length.

Just one example:

And for further discussion if needed please do so in the linked topic

I can understand all the technical issues at hand here. With lots of hard choices to be made and of things where others should be blamed instead of Fairphone.

But why isn’t Fairphone allowing its user to make these choices themselves and is giving us a clear and easy way to stay on Android 11 for the moment?

Instead of pushing out Android 13 without a warning and deciding that Austrian FP3 users just don’t need an easy way to file their taxes or apply for absentee voting in the next election?

I applaud Fairphone efforts to keep supporting the FP3 with such a small team and you did a really excellent job so far. But without any clear commitment to a certain feature set the promise of constant updates is getting quite hollow.

Because even if the problem doesn’t exist on the FP4 right now. How I’m supposed to trust that it I won’t have the some or similar issue with an FP4 next week?


As we explained in the post, that app does not follow the recommendations of Google. By only allowing to use biometrics, it is closing the door to other more safe ways of logging in, like a password.

The Digitales Amt is aiming to provide the same level of security as your physical passport. Using the same biometric features that allows authorities around the world to verify the validity of your passport.

And as far as I’m aware the is no boarder guard around the would allowing you to get past a boarder check with a PIN code in case the picture on you passport got destroyed.

If Fairphone instead of pushing the Android 13 update on my phone would have put my actual passport on fire. It would be much less of an hassle and cheaper to get a replacement then finding a way to get Digitales Amt working again for me right now.


What further explanation and apologies are you looking for?

It was tested, noone from Austria seem to be on the beta tester group, so this was actually unknown, it was pushed, after first feedback from users, communication was added, apologies and further explanation was given. Was it handled the best way? No, as FP confirms, however thats how it is now. I understand your disappointment, however I doubt any further expalantion about the why will help to solve the current situation for you.


As I just visited the Shifphone HP a few minutes ago: they have upgrade options, in case such things happen, that would be in my opinion a good approach here as well.

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I assume Fairphone isn’t considering this option because the fingerprint sensor does not seem to be built to be user replaceable. (That being said: I agree that this would be a great idea; while it isn’t intended to be user replaceable, it also doesn’t look that hard to do so in the iFixit teardown)

Theoretical idea/question: If the fingerprint sensor firmware would be reverse engineered by the community and a reimplementation would be supplied that meets the requirements for strong authenticators in Android 13, would you be able and willing to integrate it in an update for the official Fairphone OS, thereby restoring support for the fingerprint sensor in all apps? Or are you not allowed to do so by a license agreement with the manufacturer of the fingerprint reader?

For those interested what I mean please visit Shiftphones HP.

Upgrade=device upgrade, not OS or parts.


@mikiballester tagging you to open the room for solutions, instead of explanations.

I would like to add my view and I’m not affected, as I no longer use the FP3:

I appreciate that Fairphone listens to their users and provides explanations about what happened and all this is understandble. What I’m actually missing is a constructiv approach for those needing to use an App that does not offer PIN/Password.
So overall what I would hope for in general moving forward: more action instead of just reaction due to negative comments.


We know the problem and we know the “workarounds” that do not work in some cases. What we now want is a real solution to this issue.

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“Um oesterreich.gv.at noch komfortabler nutzen zu können, wurde die App “Digitales Amt” entwickelt. Damit haben Sie alle Bürgerservices noch schneller zur Hand und können nach einmaliger Aktivierung Ihrer ID Austria jederzeit Amtswege komfortabel online erledigen.”
[App "Digitales Amt"; emphasis added]

It’s a convenience issue only and the software is broken by design. You’re barking at the wrong tree (to put it mildly).

@RMW definitely not; 48h ago I had a working software configuration on my FP3; now I haven’t.
What has changed is OS - not the app!

I expect FP developer team to offer an easy accessible rollback option to Android 11 (via updater) as long as the fingerprint firmware issue is not solved!