The gesture is a simple “swipe”. You swipe your finger down on the fingerprint scanner to access the notification shade on the device. Although a feature of Android 7.1, it wasn’t brought to the 5X and 6P due to a firmware issue with the scanner.
The Pixel models use the same fingerprint hardware as the two previous Nexus models, but Google says the firmware version of the Nexus scanners was incompatible. According to AndroidPolice, Google gave a short reply to suggest that the team is “evaluating” a firmware update to the 5X and 6P.
So it’s not for certain, but Google is considering it. There is no details about when a possible update would arrive, but Google said to “stay tuned.”
With its unprecedented advertising campaign, Google is pushing the Pixel phones as hard as it can. Some features, like the Assistant and these fingerprint gestures, are Pixel-exclusive. Our own Derrick Miyao said he would consider the Nexus 6P to be a solid choice, even after a year later. So it’s definitely worthwhile for Google to keep Nexus users happy.