Samsung Galaxy S5
Biometric security: Galaxy S5 developers granted access to fingerprint scanner.IBTimes UK

In a move less restrictive than Apple's control over the iPhone 5s, Samsung will allow developers to make use of the Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner, paving the way for a future of applications no longer requiring passwords.

Whereas Apple forbids developers from using the newest iPhone's fingerprint scanner for anything - it can only be used to unlock the device and pay for iTunes and App Store content - Android developers will be able to use the scanner of the Galaxy S5, which is built into the phone's home button.

Android developers discovered the feature when Samsung released the SDK (software development kit) for the Galaxy S5, which was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this week.

Part of the SDK, called Pass API, is described as allowing developers "to use fingerprint recognition features in your applications. With Pass, you can provide reinforced security, since you can identify whether the current user actually is the authentic owner of the device."

When it announced the iPhone 5s last autumn, Apple said data collected by the fingerprint scanner was stored in a "secure enclave" of the phone's processor and would not be sent to the servers of Apple or any other company. As a result developers cannot use fingerprints to help users log into applications, for example.

Samsung's approach mirrors the more open nature of the Galaxy S5's Android operating system, compared to Apple's iOS, often referred to as a walled garden.

As announced at the Galaxy S5's launch event on 24 February, PayPal will be the first application develop to partner with Samsung, letting users authorise payments within the phone's web browser with a fingerprint.

Samsung is yet to reveal what security measures are in place to prevent malicious use of the Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner, but the company's presence in the Fast Identity Online Alliance goes some way to ensure the company is taking its users' security seriously.

The Galaxy S5 will go on sale in the UK on 11 April, alongside the new Gear 2 and Gear Fit smartwatches.