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Your phone could become more of your mobile wallet than ever before.


Angela Lang/CNET

If you’ve ever dreamed of presenting your phone at the airport or at a bar as proof of ID, the wait may soon be over. Phones using the premium Snapdragon 865 chip will be able to tap into a new feature coming to Android R, the next version of Google’s operating system for phones. 

If your 2020 device has both Android R and the Snapdragon 865, it’ll support the software to securely store your credentials, like your driver’s license, Social Security card and other ID cards.

The announcement arrived Wednesday at Qualcomm’s third annual Snapdragon Tech Summit in Maui, Hawaii, where the world’s largest mobile chipmaker introduces its next mobile chipsets for 2020 phones, laptops, smartwatches and VR headsets. 

In addition to supporting Google’s mobile driver’s license, high-end phones that run Snapdragon 865 will be able to tap into a 200-megapixel camera, ultrafast 5G speeds and a larger in-screen fingerprint reader touted as being faster and more secure.

As always, phone-makers will have the option of using the chipset’s features, but it’s no guarantee that they will. Still, support for Google’s mobile ID credential program will give top-tier devices an advantage over phones that lack this feature. Google is expected to announce Android R capabilities at its annual I/O conference, usually held in May.

Qualcomm also introduced a 5G chip called the Snapdragon 765 that will help make 5G phones cheaper with better battery.


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