announces ‘personal unlocking’ to help eliminate Android Ns

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 25 Jun 2014

all secretly despise fiddling with Ns patterns to unlock an Android phone, but we do so for security’s sake. ‘s new “Android ” developer release will contain a new feature that uses what the phone knows about you to eliminate it.

Dave Burke, an engineering director for ‘s Android team, appeared on stage at the I/O conference on dnesday to introduce the new unlock mechanism. “If you’re one of the 50 percent of people with a N or pattern lock, you waste many minutes per day with that fiddly task of unlocking that N,” Burke said. “So we figured there had to be a better way.”

calls it “personal unlocking,” it allows the phone to determine whether it’s in a trusted, safe environment. It taps into what the phone knows about you its location: whether it’s in a user’s h, for example, or sitting near the user on a table.

The technology will allow you to designate locations that are safe check them against the phone’s location; see if any expected Bluetooth devices are nearby; or even check for your unique voice print.

In a demonstration, Burke held up a phone that detected his Bluetooth watch unlocked itself when he swiped up—no muss, no fuss. But when he removed the watch, the phone could no longer see the watch locked itself down, asking for a N.

It may not be the most earth-shaking feature in the long run, but it’s one of those nifty little things that makes your life easier. t’s hope it works as advertised.