Personal Unlocking

At Google I/O, Google introduced Personal Unlocking as part of the Android L as a way to keep devices secure, but not overwhelm users so that they don't want to set up a security system on their phone. With Personal Unlocking, Google will be incorporating features like location and connected Bluetooth devices to ensure that the phone is in safe hands and not in the hands of thieves.

Location: For example, if you've designated a secure location using GPS, like your home and office, then you won't be bothered with a lock screen that begs you to enter a PIN, passcode, or pattern to unlock. If you're outside of the geofence, then a lock screen will ask you for your passcode as a secure measure. This makes it more manageable for consumers who want a secure phone, but don't want to be annoyed by security when it's not needed, especially if the phone is being unlocked to be used at home.

Bluetooth: Another way to manage Personal Unlocking is to connect to trusted Bluetooth devices. If your phone is connected to your phone's Bluetooth, or your Bluetooth wearable--like your fitness band or your smartwatch, then you won't need to enter a passcode. Your Bluetooth connection serves as a key to unlock your phone, making it more convenient. If you walk out of Bluetooth range, then whoever picks up your phone will need to enter in a password to unlock the device.

Is this a feature you're excited for in L?


Reader comments

Personal Unlocking makes security simple in Android L


Trusted Bluetooth is something that I've wanted for awhile on my Samsung phones. It kind of worked with the Gear 2 Neo but isn't 100% reliable.

Posted via Android Central App

I have the first galaxy gear. Using the Bluetooth to unlock is amazing. The only time I need my phone locked down is at work so the geo lock looks promising.

Posted via Android Central App

Sounds like a nice feature; however, there are times when I'm home or connected to Bluetooth and still need to lock my device.

Posted via AC App on HTC One

Yes, of course. The above was my poorly worded way of saying I like the feature, but I'm not sure I'd use it often. Gotta keep my baby locked!

Posted via AC App on HTC One

It's a good idea, but what if you're phone is in range of a trusted device, yet out of your control somehow? I'm thinking mainly of people of leave it behind at a restaurant or bar.

How do you address this?

Google can't help it if a person leaves their entire bag or purse somewhere. If you're a forgetful person, don't use the trusted device feature.

But what if I lock phone, my bluetooth earpiece AND my keys inside my car, in my driveway, and I left my banking information on the screen, and the screen set to never sleep? Anyone walking by would be able to see my sensitive banking information! Could I hold Google accountable if someone stole my banking information and drained all my accounts? I mean, if hey didn't make the OS in the first place, I'd have never had the phone to leave in the car.

Amazing how people expect someone else to save them from themselves... instead of simply accepting responsibility for their own actions.

Like if you leave your phone on the table but you're still in the restaurant? On stage at I/O, it seemed like it was a pretty short range between the phone and the watch for the phone to require a passcode.

I like the idea if trusted Bluetooth devices, but I've gotta think if someone steals your phone there's a good chance they'll steal your smartwatch or whatever as well.

Posted via Android Central App

It's called a mugging. Four or five guys with knives or guns tend to get whatever they want, even if it's on your wrist.

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So what was your point?

I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

because the guys with guns and knives cant force u to tell them your pin? if we are getting into highly unlikely scenarios then honestly no security will protect you.

Then you log into another device and lock/wipe remotely while also disabling the one time password for that device. Assuming you're using two step authentication etc.

Yes! I've been wanting the Geo pattern unlock for a while and can't quite find the right app, so glad to see this getting baked in to Android by Google!

Posted via Android Central App

Llama offers the capability for Geo-based changes, including lock screen. I've mine set to unlock when in certain areas AND on trusted Wi-Fi connections. Pretty nifty.

I love the Trusted Bluetooth feature on my Moto X. Looks like everyone else will get to experience is natively now too.

I use my gear 2 to unlock my s5 just put the phone close to the watch or if it's already on and phone in hand it removes security code.

Posted via Android Central App

Excited to see this as standard part of Android. I tried a third party solution but required using PIN or password unlock instead of pattern and that was annoying. I hope this works with patterns.

Not in the slightest. I run Llama on my tablet for the geo-sensitive locking and I run Pebble Locker on my phone.

Seems like they're playing catch up with the Android community.

They should've added support for WiFi too. Like when you are connected to, say, your wifi network at home, your phone stays unlocked

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The presentation didn't exclude wifi.

Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)

I like this idea. I'm using Tasker to disable my lockscreen when I'm on trusted WI-FI networks, but I think a trusted device route might be superior.
I saw a lady on youtube bake an NFC tag into a cheap plastic ring, and used it with Tasker to disable the lockscreen. The lockscreen would be disabled when she held the phone in the hand wearing the ring and it would lock as soon as she put it down. Brilliant.

I look forward to this very much. I like to switch albums while driving and this makes it easier to if I'm just checking AC while on the couch.

AC App via Nexus 5

This sounds like a great feature. I spend 95% of my weekdays at home messing with a pin lock screen. Yes I could remove the pin, but am afraid I will forget to reset it when I rush out of my house. This will automatically release the pin screen exactly when I need it.

Definitely a feature I want in an Android device, but already have it in Delayed Lock by j4velin. Money well spent and Android L Personal Security is going to have to meet or exceed its features for me to switch (e.g., geo-fencing based on WiFi, time-out settings, etc.).

Yes a must have feature for Android phone. I don't like entering PINS when iam in a hurry trying to use the phone at home. Iam currently using a free app
Zwypelock. This app automatically unlocks my phone when connected to any trusted network.It is a very convenient feature