Biometric scanning on smartphones has become mainstream ever since we saw the arrival of fingerprint scanners on our phones. This was followed by face unlocking and off late we are seeing iris scanning on some flagship devices. Now while fingerprint and face unlock features are natively part of the Android OS, iris scanning isn't.
Looks like that is going to change with the next Android version, tentatively being called Android P. Google is expected to make it easier for OEMs to have iris scanning on their phones.
According to Android Police, several commits were recently sent to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) which had iris identification as a biometric security method. And Google isn't the only entity implementing this feature. Some of the commits have come from software engineers working for Fingerprint Cards which is a company that markets biometric technology. It makes fingerprint scanners for phones from Google, Samsung, Huawei and so on.
While the code on AOSP does not fully implement the iris unlock mechanism, it creates an internal structure for the future implementation of the feature. The finer aspects of the commits are still under discussion and nothing has been merged into the AOSP yet.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was the first popular phone to have iris scanning on board, but we all know the Note 7 story, so let's not get there. With the Galaxy S9, Samsung will be using a combination of face unlock and iris scanning to help you unlock your phone depending on the lighting condition.