The Pixel 4 is an important phone for the Android landscape. The 90Hz display, dual rear cameras, and wireless charging are all perfectly cool, but the thing that really makes it stand out is Google's all-new face unlock system.
We've seen other Android phones offer face unlock in the past, but the Pixel 4 is the first one that's secure enough to be useful beyond the lock screen — meaning you can use face unlock on the Pixel 4 to authorize purchases and log in to apps — such as mobile banking apps and password managers.
If you pick up your Pixel 4 and realize that face unlock doesn't work with your favorite apps, however, you're not doing anything wrong. Developers need to support Google's BiometricPrompt API in order for it to work, and the adoption of it has been quite slow.
Apps that currently work with the Pixel 4's face unlock
- Ally Mobile
- American Express
- Bank of America
- Barclays US
- Bitwarden Password Manager
- Firefox Lockwise
- Google Pay
- KeePass DX
- Microsoft Authenticator
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Navy Federal Credit Union
- Password Safe
- RoboForm Password Manager
- SafeInCloud Password Manager
- Scotia Bank Mobile Banking
- Samsung Browser
- Simple Bank
- Southwest Airlines
- USAA Mobile
Apps that have confirmed to be working on the Pixel 4's face unlock
- U.S. Bank (no set date)
- Wells Fargo (no set date)
The Pixel 4 started with virtually no support for its face unlock system when it was first released in October 2019, but over the months, support has gotten substantially better.
In order for the Pixel 4's face unlock to work, apps need to support the BiometricPrompt API. As of November 1, 2019, apps released to the Play Store have to support the API if they want to offer biometric authentication of any sort, but apps aren't forced to support it on that date, but simply for their next update after that date. We just have to hope that Google really pushes developers to get their updates out sooner.
For you and everyone else that buys the Pixel 4, that could mean waiting months before your banking app supports face unlock on the Pixel 4. Until then, you'll be stuck entering a password or PIN each time you want to access sensitive apps like that.
We're actively reaching out to companies to see if they have a timeline for supporting the Pixel 4's face unlock, and as we learn more, we'll keep this list up-to-date.
Unlock with your face
Android's best face unlock still has room to grow.
The Google Pixel 4 stands out for a lot of reasons, one of which is its powerful face unlock system. Not only is it one of the fastest implementations we've ever seen, it's also secure enough to go beyond the lock screen and work with app logins.
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