The Pixel 4 will likely get 'require eyes to be open' security feature in next feature drop

Pixel 4 XL face unlock prompt
Pixel 4 XL face unlock prompt (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is working on a "require eyes to be open" setting for face unlock.
  • It has finally been spotted in Android 11 DP 2.
  • If patterns hold true, it will debut with the June Pixel feature drop.

Google's more secure face unlock arrived with Android 11 Developer Preview 2 (DP2) yesterday, and if patterns hold, it may be coming with the next Pixel feature drop.

To recap, Google's Pixel 4 and 4 XL ship with face unlock enabled, but critics have noted that they can be used without the user having their eyes open. This meant that sleeping or even unconscious users could have their devices accessed without them noticing.

In response to that, Google said in a statement:

We've been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock.

Signs of that feature being implemented appeared after the March feature drop in the settings menu, and now Google has enabled the security feature in Android 11 DP 2.

It's not definitive, but it's worth noting that Google did the same thing with the Cards and Passes before finally rolling them out with the March feature drop.

It's not clear when the next feature drop will roll out, but based on current cadence we can expect it to be released around June, early in the summer.

Michael Allison