Android: Smart Lock Option

Updated 15 December 2016


Smart Lock is not exactly new, but it has improved in Android Marshmallow. Smart Lock on Marshmallow provides options for unlocking your device or keeping your device unlocked depending on various intuitive scenarios. Smart Lock is found in the security settings and requires the use of some form of lock screen security. It includes trusted places, trusted device, trusted face etc. Each Smart Lock feature is opt-in and reversible.

Google has expanded Smart Lock into a password manager tied to your Google account. For this you can go to settings and then to Google, here you will find ( somewhere in the end) Smart Lock for Passwords options. Be sure its in otherwise smart lock will not work. Now you can go to settings–> Security–> Smart Lock and choose any of the Smart lock you want to apply. So here we will discuss these Smart Locks.


Trusted devices:

It enables you to keep your device unlock when connected to a trusted device through bluetooth. So you can add the trusted devices so that when your device is connected with any of that device you don’t have to unlock it again and again. It can be any device like your PC, your laptop or your smart-watch and your device will not be locked. Its very safe because of small range of bluetooth connection so if device goes far enough away from trusted device that the Bluetooth connection drops, your device’s lock screen security will enable and others can’t access your data.


Trusted Places:

As the name itself says it will detect your location and will not lock your device when you are at the mentioned trusted places. It can solve your problems of unlocking your phone at every minute or 5 minutes at a place you are safe like your Home. But the only disadvantage is that you have to always turn on your location even while not using GPS or google maps or any other app requiring your location.


Trusted Face:

Now here is the deal with this lock its not that much safe as any other Security feature like patter, pin or password. Yes it includes ‘liveliness’ that forces the person unlocking the device to blink while unlocking so that no one can unlock the device through your photo. But its still not that much safe. With this notifications can now be seen and interacted with directly on the lock screen. With Trusted face activated, you can interact with your notifications and you phone or tablet will attempt to match your face and unlock without causing you any interference.


Trusted Voice:

Trusted Voice takes this one step further now that there are phones with “OK Google” detection even when the phone is off. So now you can unlock your phone with your voice or trusted voice. This lock listens out for your voice, and if there’s a tone match your phone will unlock automatically, making it so you can pick up the phone and get right to business. This isn’t the secure option as Google itself warns that anyone with a voice similar enough to yours can also unlock the phone. Also this feature will listen all the time and have a very little cost to your battery.


On-body detection:

As google describes it “Keep your device unlocked while it’s on you.”, it doesn’t lock you phone if its in your hand or pocket. But will lock when you place your device still on side like table or anything. It checks for motion and flat surfaces (not perfectly flat). So if you have a habit of leaving your phone on your desk its for you. But as you must have got it that its not safe as password or pin or pattern lock. But surely its a way forward.


So thats all the Smart Lock feature of Android you can use them as you want and they surely will help you in accessing your device but be sure of the threats as well if your device seriously contains very important data.

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