Google has quietly introduced a new ‘Smart Lock’ feature to select Android devices, which works to make devices more conveniently unlocked on the move.
Google has introduced a feature within Android devices that could make them safer and less of a hassle to unlock when on the move. For those who have dealt with the hassle of unlocking a device, with a passcode, while walking through a mall, or when walking down the street, the headache is a commonality many users have accepted for the added security.
The feature is called ‘Smart Lock’ and it uses the accelerometer to determine whether a person is moving or not. The basic premise is that if a user unlocks their device while they are moving – the accelerometer will notice that the user is moving – and maintain that status until the device is no longer moving – or enters another individuals hand.
If a user unlocks a device and hands it off to another person who they are with – the device will remain unlocked – until they stop moving, or holding the device. Ultimately, how the device reacts depends on the movement that is taking place when the smartphone is handed off, or trades hands. That being said, the feature has some serious security benefits – that go beyond the convenience.
The same accelerometer that detects when you’re moving will also come into play when the user sets the device down. That will mean that the Android phone will recognize that the user set it down – and adjust the passcode setting accordingly. If the phone is unlocked, it will go to the lock screen. If the user had it locked, it would remain locked. That means for those who might have their device picked up by a thief – the device will automatically lock and prevent them from having any of their personal data stolen.
The move is a great one – given the fact that it will surely have significant benefits in the security space. People have grown ultra-sensitive of their smartphones, and passcodes have become commonplace on most mobile devices, even by those who would have seemingly nothing to lose – should their device be stolen. At this point, it’s merely the point that users want to keep their personal information within their own possession.