Does it matter, considering Google can downgrade this in software anytime “for reasons”?
Re-evaluate whether to chain processes to the functionality of a fingerprint reader is really such a good idea and pressure App makers which don’t offer alternative means of authentication to fix their obviously broken App design.
If an App needing authentication doesn’t work without a fingerprint reader, I call that broken design, because there might be no such reader, or it might fail reading. Question of simple problem awareness.
We can all agree the current degradation is not a good situation for users and for Fairphone for various reasons, and the collectively desired outcome would be to get the functionality back in Fairphone OS. How realistic that is, we’ll have to see.
I just don’t like the narrative “the phone is near unusable now” to stand alone.
The fingerprint sensor is convenience first and foremost, and convenience is nice to have. But using the feature is a choice, and making Apps requiring it without an alternative (!) is a choice (and a bad one). Plan Bs are not the preferred choices for reasons, but at least they need to be in place to be available when needed.
I agree. Phone is still usable but this upgrade will make life far more awkward for many. Some people don’t use the fingerprint besides on the unlocking screen so they won’t care, but Fairphone have proved (to me) they cannot be trusted as they don’t listen to their BETA testers and roll out updates with known problems without any notification or followup. In the first post on this thread a FP employess stated the roll out had been stopped, yet they started it again with no notification (unless I missed something?).
I paid for a phone that had a fully functional and trusted fingerprint sensor. This Google upgrade removes that trust (as far as banks are concerned) therefore should never have been rolled out OTA and only been offered a download option.
There is now a notice of the issue in the text the updater presents before updating (German screenshot).
I think it’s safe to assume most of us here would have handled this differently than we witnessed it playing out in practice.
If said Apps really care about security, they should also stop working shortly after security update support runs out for base Android 11 (I guess Fairphone wouldn’t be able to go on much longer with Android 11, backporting patches without Google support), which would be early 2024 if prior Android versions are any indication.
That being said, the time until then could have been put to good use much differently than Fairphone did now.
You are just repeating the same things again and again so I do…
The beta testers knew the fingerprint reader problem and at each new beta release this was mentioned in the release notes. Fairphone mistake was not to do it for the final release.
If you explain beta testers the hardware is not considered as safe as it was and that it implies downgraded possibilities for the fingerprint reader, they accept it (not without complaining a bit it is inconvenient).
The rollout started again after adding the fingerprint reader problem in the release notes. If this information had been in them at the first rollout, it wouldn’t have stopped since the problem was the lack of communication and not the fingerprint reader being downgraded.
Dont forget that most people would never do a manual install, so that would be in my eyes the worst option ever, as this would cause thousands of vulnerable phones, as other manufacturer would cause by stopping updates early.
Overall it is at is is now and thinking over and over again about the intitially missed communication will not change anything. I guess the apps dont offering another way than to use the fingerprints are luckily not too much, so most people will be able to use their phones still and if its too uncomfotable, then they need to think about options.
For all we know it’s just one single app so far: App "Digitales Amt"
And the way I understand their FAQ it’s possible to use the federal services offered via app also via browser, but I’m not sure here.
I just hope that everyone who complained here about that app no longer working also contacted the app developers/the government body responsible for the online services. Otherwise, how would they learn that some users can’t use the app like designed? So that they at least can extend their FAQ about this issue, or even better implement a fallback for a future version.
I agree for situations where I’m sitting at my desk and have all the time in the world to e.g. confirm a 2FA secured login or banking transaction.
But I really don’t want to type my long master password of the password manager app in order to copy the app password of my carsharing app in order to open the car in front of me in the middle of heavy rain where the raindrops interfere with typing on the touchscreen.
Please note: due to updated Android security requirements, the fingerprint sensor at the back of the device can no longer be used to log into certain apps with higher security requirements, such as some banking apps. The fingerprint sensor can still be used to lock and unlock the device itself and the affected apps can still be accessed using a PIN or password for login.
The link can be found in the notes of the update, which I received this morning (FP3. Carrier service: Pepephone, in Spain). Here is a screenshot of the English version:
In my eyes just standard-support-blabla and not really an answer.
For me its somehow frustrating. I think, if you can’t fix it in software, changing the Fingerprint-Modul is the only correct and secure solution for this problem. Whats the point of making a phone modular if you just don’t use the full potential.
For me this case is closed.
I check out the next weeks how much this issue sucks me and then live with it or try LineageOS or go to a new phone. Maybe a FP5 because i like the fairphone-spirit, but i need to rethink this first.
Not under normal circumstances, because under normal circumstances the bootloader is locked. Unlocking it to do the manual install will wipe user data for security reasons, locking it will do the same.
(Even with an unlocked bootloader there’s still Android rollback protection, which will force a data wipe after a downgrade to an older Android version for security reasons. I know that an older security patch level will trigger this, but the patch level of the last Android 11 release and the new Android 13 release seem to be the same - June 5. What I don’t know so far is whether this would be triggered because 11 is an older version than 13.)
That may be nitpicking, but you paid for a functional fingerprint sensor and you still have a functional fingerprint sensor with Android 13. Trust and other Android security features are subject to sudden changes by Google. A similar problem could have happened on Android 11, for example through a Chrome API change.
I agree that Fairphone has not suffciently communicated this problem. But overall I still appreciate the upgrade to Andoid13 and extended security lifecycle of my FP3.