FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update

Whereas the implementation is not an issue, as you note, can Fairphone still get Google approval and a license? or as previously mentioned, maybe someone will create an unofficial version, but then there are other OS options if someone doesn’t want official A13


I am pretty sure about that. The reason is that Google - as other software developers - always try to avoid regressions at any cost.

Two examples:

  • Beginning with a certain version of Android, Google required all devices to be encrypted. But this was just mandatory for new sold devices, not for updates of already existing devices.
    The reason is simple: Older devices lacked the AES instruction set in the SOC; software encryption would make the devices slow and the battery drain a lot. Regression → Frustration → Problems for all involved parties.

  • Google requires a specific minimal kernel version for each version of Android. If it is a new sold device. If it is an upgrade of an already existing device, they are not too strict about it.
    Reason: The kernel (or better: it’s modules) contain firmware BLOBS which are released by the component and SOC manufacturers for a specific kernel version.
    Best example is the FP3: It is running exactly the same kernel version on Android 11 as on Android 13. Google is not forcing Fairphone to update the kernel, but still get the certification.

I am pretty sure, that Google has no problem with the fingerprint reader. It is an upgrade of an already existing device, not a device that hits market initially with Android 13.

So we don’t know why Fairphone disables the fingerprint reader for apps with higher security demand, as the new standards in Android 13 most likely are just valid for new sold devices, and not mandatory for updates.
There is no public issue tracker, no code repository or public road map where decision like that are discussed. Software development at Fairphone happens behind closed doors, and as I already mentioned before, I hope they will tell more about the backgrounds for this decision and the way they are going to solve that.

Fingers crossed!


I imagine Fairphone don’t actively disable, but as you said if the A13 is on the table for new devices, it wasn’t modified for the FP3. Maybe that is in the making.

Are you sure Google doesn’t force for the higher security of the fingerprint reader ?

If it is true, it could be nice to add a reference.

I can not guarantee for it, because my daily business in IT has nothing to do with Android and I am not too deep in these topics.

But before - based on the examples given above - new requirements in Android versions have been mandatory for new devices, not for old ones to be upgraded.

To be really sure about the backgrounds, facts and requirements, we need a statement from the developers of Fairphone. As long there is none, people like us continue speculating :wink:


Here is a link to further explanation


When I read the link FP3 Android 13 - no fingerprint for 1Password any more - #4 by Ingo , I don’t believe there is speculation to do since it seems quite clear.


It is still being looked at though, so some hope :thinking: or maybe not

UPDATE: :frowning:

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What is the problem? As I understand it, you can unlock the phone by using a fingerprint. And…?

Apparently, some Apps on an unlocked phone cannot use the fingerprint now? And… so what?

Using a fingerprint twice has no obvious additional “security”. A passphrase AND fingerprint YES — but a fingerprint (twice) or the SAME passphrase is absurd.

Similar to using the same passphrase on different sites (or devices, etc.) is a Very Poor Idea, so is using a fingerprint for multiple purposes (on the same device).

What is the problem?

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Whether the phone is unlocked or not many banking apps are unusable it seems.

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Get an first answer about new Fingerprintmodul:


but a fingerprint (twice) or the SAME passphrase is absurd.

Well, I’ve got ten different fingers…

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It’s not twice for the same app.

Once maybe to unlock the phone, and then once each time for maybe six apps.

Each app is checking for security not each other.

As mentioned people can use more than one finger, in fact even the same finger can provide a dozen or more prints. The sensor records some of the print as 256bit or more code and by slightly using a different part of the finger you get a different code.

So if you have problems with the sensor recognising your finger do multiple takes and some when wet etc.

It doesn’t store a picture that could be copied.

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Thanks for die information!
@Marta_Artigas Any chance you will provide a supported fingerprint sensor sooner or later for FP3 owners?

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Welcome: Did you see the post three above yours: It’s only 19 hours old ??


Now I did see it - thx :grinning:

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[…] We have stopped the roll-out (at 10%) of the update, for now, to make sure the information for the end users is well-written and clear enough.

I am very sorry for all the people who are affected by the fingerprint sensor problem. I do not use this, so I have no problem with it. But I am frustrated that I can no longer update. When will the rollout start again?

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Welcome to the forum.
Like you I don’t use it other than for unlocking the phone, which isn’t affected, however than can be no answer to your question as that depends upon unknow factors.

There are questions:

Has the rollout stopped to provide more info on the download, like a big RED WARNING, in which case it won’t be long but still, if it as ready to relates it would be done. If it’s not ready then we wait for notification and not query why as this just uses more resources of Fairphone

Then of course they could have found a or be looking for a way to enable it’s use which will take some time.

and of course they could be doing both.

However I think the last A11 update has the same security patch 5th June so there’s no worry there: Best check that as I update on the first day, so can’t check.

Also they may be sending it out with the new 5Th July update or even the 5th Aug, if they have to make any real changes, like a also a warning in the OS about the reduced function of the fingerprint sensor


There’s quite a few dislike as to how the GUI of A13 looks and works as well, so it isn’t that big a deal really.

All the best

hey amoun thank you for your response. I can understand your description well, however, it is not an answer to my question, and therefore it does not get me anywhere. It is important to say that your concerns are probably not my concerns. I most likely have a different perspective.
I have been waiting a long time for the update to Android 13 that I need. It was announced to distribute it in June. When it comes to adjusting the text in the changelog, this would be a short thing to do (as you write). That’s why I waited a few days now.

Because no date was communicated, I asked. I doubt that I am hindering Fairphone’s process because of this. This is simply my right as a user of such a device.

And whether Android 13 for FF3 is good or bad will be individual, so I ask you not to decide for me from your perspective. I would be thankful for that.


This is a user forum so nobody can answer your question. The only way to get one is in asking the contactsupport