Locking our smartphones to prevent unauthorized access is pretty much a no-brainer. However, unlocking said smartphones tends to be monotonous, and sometimes difficult. But if you own a relatively new Android smartphone, you do not need to bother with such issues. A new feature, known as Smart Lock, can automatically unlock your phone without prompting you to do anything. Here’s everything you need to know about Android Smart Lock:
HOW TO ENABLE SMART LOCK
Google introduced Smart Lock with Android 5.0 Lollipop version, and since then it has evolved. This feature lets you specify conditions when it is safe to remove the PINs, patterns, and any other security procedures required to unlock your phone.
To enable Smart Lock, go to Settings > Security > Smart Lock. You will be prompted to input your phone’s PIN, pattern or password before you continue. After doing that, you can enable the feature, and with it enabled you can choose from 4 options to unlock your phone. The options are On-body Detection, Trusted Places, Trusted Devices and Trusted Face. Not all of these are available on every device, so you’ll have to check for which of the options work for your phone.
HOW TO USE ON-BODY DETECTION
This option uses the phone’s accelerometer and other sensors to keep your phone unlocked when it detects that it’s being carried in your hand, pocket or bag. To enable On-body detection, go to the Smart Lock menu, then tap on On-Body Detection, then toggle it on.
HOW TO SET UP TRUSTED PLACES
If you prefer to keep your phone locked while you’re walking, you can set up Trusted Places. This makes use of geofencing, or geographic boundaries defined by your phone’s mapping software, to detect when you’re at home, work or any other location where you feel comfortable leaving your phone unlocked. As long as your phone has an internet connection and access to your location, you never have to worry about unlocking it again.
Before you enable Trusted Places, enable location mode on your phone. Once you do that, you can add your trusted places.
- Add your home location by tapping Trusted Places from the Smart Lock menu. Tap Home, then tap Turn on this Location.
- Add a custom location by tapping Trusted Places from the Smart Lock menu, then tapping Add Trusted Place. A map will open to your current location. Name the trusted location, then press OK.
HOW TO SET UP TRUSTED DEVICES
Trusted Devices lets you use a paired watch, fitness tracker or car speaker to keep your device unlocked. When you designate a Bluetooth device as trusted, your phone automatically unlocks the moment it pairs with it.
To add a trusted Bluetooth device,
- Tap on Trusted Devices in he Smart Lock menu.
- Tap on Add Trusted Device > Bluetooth, then on the list of connected devices, tap a device. The list will only show paired devices.
You can also set up a trusted NFC tag, which is even safer than Bluetooth. In this case, you can set an NFC sticker in your car or your bedside, so that when you tap the sticker with your device, it unlocks. Here’s how to set it up:
- Tap Trusted Devices > Add trusted Device > NFC.
- Tap your device to the NFC tag, then add a name for the NFC tag. Then tap OK
HOW TO CONFIGURE TRUSTED FACE
This method is not the most secure way to unlock your smartphone, but it is one of the most convenient. When you set it up, your phone’s front-facing camera will search for your face and unlock it if it recognizes you. To set up a Trusted Face,
- Tap on Trusted Face. Set Up, then follow the on-screen instructions.
- When your phone stats looking for your face, you’ll see the Trusted Face icon. If your phone does not recognize your face, you can unlock it with the PIN, pattern or password you saved.