The Pixel 4's face unlock is finally getting an update to make it more secure

Pixel 4 Face Unlock
Pixel 4 Face Unlock (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is set to improve face unlock on Pixel 4 with a new "Require eyes to be open" setting.
  • While not enabled yet, the feature is searchable in the Settings app.
  • Google last year promised to bring it in an update.

Google this year is set to improve security for Pixel 4 with an upcoming update. When the firm launched its 2019 flagship, reviewers noted the omission of an important security feature for face unlock — it could be used even if the user's eyes were closed. This means that someone could have their phone unlocked if they were sleeping or unconscious. Granted, not an issue for people with healthy personal boundaries, but still a concerning omission considering rival Apple had included it as part of Face ID.

Now the folks over at Android Police have spotted the new "require eyes to be open" setting in the Settings app. Well, to be more accurate, it's visible in the search results if you search for "eyes", but it doesn't actually do anything if you tap into it. The face unlock settings screen just shows the current settings when you tap in, so it remains an upcoming feature.

In a statement last year, Google said:

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.

"Require eyes to be open" is a security feature that people have been asking for since the Pixel 4 first launched. With this step, it's not quite here yet, we now know that it can't be too far behind.

Michael Allison