New software updates are great for your phone — they patch security holes and bugs and add new features — except when they break a core feature, like your phone’s fingerprint sensor.
According to multiple reports on Google’s Pixel and Nexus product forums, the latest Android 7.1.2 Nougat update cripples the fingerprint sensor on the Pixel/Pixel XL and Nexus 5X/Nexus 6P, rendering them useless.
Users on both phone forums are reporting that they’re unable to unlock their phones with the rear-positioned fingerprint sensors.
The update also prevents users from registering new fingerprints as well; deleting old fingerprints doesn’t seem to fix the issues.
Strangely enough, the “swipe down” gesture that lets you pull down the notification shade still functions, suggesting the sensor isn’t completely bricked from the update, and it’s just a bug that was overlooked.
It’s unclear when Google will release an update to restore fingerprint functionality to affected phones, and we don’t know how widespread the issue is (yet). Hopefully Google will move to fix things quickly, as the fingerprint sensor is the most secure way to lock down your Pixel or Nexus. Not only that, but the fingerprint sensor is necessary in order to authenticate Android Pay purchases.
In the meantime, if you’ve updated your phone to Android 7.1.2 and busted your fingerprint sensor, we highly recommend using a strong passcode (don’t just use a simple 4-digit PIN) or a complex pattern to protect your phone.
Mashable reached out to Google for comment and will update this post if we hear back.