FAIRPHONE 3 and 3+ A13 - Fingerprint sensor update

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!


Thats just not possible and not anything FP can influence due to rollback protection…discussed already above

And also answered already


To me it is not a convenience thing. If you want to do anything digitally you need the app, because the app is also used for MFA on government web sites.
But I agree that the design is broken and I assume that there is no malicious intent just the usual idiocy in decision making I come to expect from the Austrian administration.
The legacy app in use prior to “Digitales Amt” is also broken now. (Will add it to the list.) For the same reason even though it supports PIN as an authentication method but first you need working biometrics to change the setting.
That I will call an epic fail.


I still can’t see VR Banking app on the list of apps which are affected by the malfunctioning Fingerprint sensor in A13 and would like to emphasize that it really really helps if you check that list for the apps you use if that list is as complete as possible!

I checked that list, upgraded and only after that found out I can’t use the sensor any longer in that particular banking app.

I can’t add to the list myself. Noone has added the info.

I guess there’s other people perusing the list for the info same way I was checking. OTOH, by now it just doesn’t matter any longer, what do I know.
It’s all very disappointing

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the list is maintained by user, I will try to update with VR and SecureGo App, yesterday it did not work.

@Murat_Kayi I upgraded your profile so I think you should be able to update the list now and add the missing information I dont have as I dont use it.


Hello, I can’t find the link to the list…I’d like to complete it with french and german banking apps which are affected…thx!

@yvmuell thanks for configuring my editing profiles! I added VR Secure GoPlus to the row with “VR Banking”, because they work in tandem for transactions.

I don’t know the app “Secure go plus” that is linked higher up in the table, but it seems to be a very different app (also, does not start with “VR”), so I am not sure if it really has anything to do with it.
My guess is, it’s something else.

@Deuxrives I think the link is in the first post in this discussion

Here is the list ✏ List of apps and their status of fingerprint support on FP3 with Android 13


Is there any the point in becoming a Beta tester :thinking: Seems to me it’s just Fairphone ticking another box. No disrespect meant to the testers, they fulfill their side of the bargain by reporting the issues they find. It’s what happens next I have a problem with.

Is there a thread on this forum where Beta testers report their findings to us (the community)? It would save pain by giving us advance notice of breakages if there was such a thread. True this forum is not a bug tracker, but in the absence of any meaningful support from the company, its all we have.

According to this thread, 203,653 FP3s have been sold, 11k were sold just last year. Potentially that’s a lot of very angry customers yet to come to vent. Some of those who purchased their FP3 in the last couple of years will surely feel cheated. Fairphone’s reputation on repairability sustainability is now under scrutiny.

I didn’t know there were multiple channels for pushing updates. Learning this recently I now think Fairphone should withdraw A13 from general rollout, and make it opt in. If you want A13, go and sign up to it on their website, just as you would if you wanted to become a BETA tester (only a different release channel). Could the the Fairphone app be used to advise customers of their options? Hmm, having said that, the Fairphone app seems to have disappeared from my phone. Weird :man_shrugging:

Not a good enough explanation.
So is it that Fairphone can’t fix the issue, or that they won’t justify and new part or new sensor firmware on such an old phone?
Is it the hardware, software or both that doesn’t make the Google grade?
As @bartim notes, it doesn’t look too difficult to change the part in the iFixit teardown were Fairphone to procure a replacement.


So… can’t you release a physical hardware component that fixes this? A new fingerprint reader that can be purchased?


Well yes, that was some kind of miscommunication. Most people don’t scroll down to read all the change notes. This belongs to the absolute top no. 1 above everything else: “Warning, after update fingerprint doesn’t work anymore with most apps.”

So what now? My FP3 is barley three years old. I bought it hoping to use it longer than my last one that wasn’t fair, didn’t have longtime support and still I used it six years. The least you can do is to offer an upgraded module as many in this thread have already proposed. I mean you even produced a better camera module and isn’t this the core idea of the modular system?


So there will be no updates to the firmware and the possibility of an improved module isn’t even addressed by FP.
Presumably because its not feasible from either a technical or financial standpoint (if above statement is correct - that it is a non-replacable part of the phone).

I guess we can close this thread then. It seems like there will be no further action taken by FP.

Now everyone can decide for themselves if they want to take this (arguably big) loss in quality or look for alternatives that are up to par with industry standards.

So much for longevity.


How to turn off the system update notification:
Settings / Notifications, all Apps / Google Play Services / System update (at the end of the list)

It works so far, before I got the notification 1 or 2 times a day. I was lucky to read about the problems here before, and that the update was delayed. I now still have a working FP3 with Android 11 until the first apps start to complain they require a higher android version.