Do you find yourself unlocking your phone countless times each day? It can get annoying typing in your PIN or using your fingerprint to open it, no matter how many times you have to do it. Luckily, Android offers Smart Lock for devices running Lollipop and later.
Smart Lock lets you choose situations where your phone stays unlocked for extended periods of time. For example, Trusted Location settings keep your phone unlocked at home.
Locate the Smart Lock settings
1. Open “Settings -> security or Lock screen and security.”
2. Select “Secure Lock Settings.”
3. Put in your password, unlock pattern, PIN, or use your fingerprint.
4. Select Smart Lock.
5. Options for Smart Lock appear.
Now that you know where to find it, let’s take a closer look at the different Smart Lock options.
This Smart Lock setting is the easiest option to configure. It uses the sensors on your phone to detect if you are carrying it with you. One problem with this detection is when you give your unlocked phone to someone else, it may remain unlocked if they move with it. Some phones, though, learn your particular gait and lock for anyone else but you. Another problem arises if you get into a vehicle. It might take up to ten minutes for your phone to lock.
Here’s how to enable On-body detection.
1. In Android’s Smart Lock menu, tap “On-body detection.”
2. Toggle on On-body detection.
When you enable Trusted Places your phone uses geographic boundaries from its mapping software to determine if you are at home, work, or someplace else where you feel comfortable keeping your phone unlocked. With this option enabled, you won’t have to unlock it as long as your phone is connected to the Internet and location services.
Before you enable Trusted Places, make sure location is turned on. If you are not sure how to do this:
1. Tap “Settings.”
2. Find the Location section in Connections.
3. Tap the “Mode or Locating” method, then select one of the three options: High accuracy, Battery saving, or Device only.
After the location is enabled, you can start using Trusted Places.
1. Tap Trusted places from the Smart Lock menu.
2. Tap Home and then turn on this location.
3. Add another location by tapping Add a trusted place. A map opens to your current position.
4. To pick a different location, tap Search and type the name or address of a trusted place, then tap OK.
The facial recognition found in Smart Lock is not as secure as Apple’s Face ID which requires specialized hardware. A picture of you can fool it. It’s not on every phone, but if you have it, Trusted Face is one of the most convenient Smart Lock options.
After you set a trusted face, your phone’s front-facing camera searches for your face and unlocks when it recognizes you.
Here’s how to set up a Trusted face:
1. In the Smart Lock menu tap Trusted face.
2. Tap Set up and follow the on-screen instructions.
3. When your phone searches for your face, the Trusted face icon appears.
In some cases your phone might have trouble distinguishing your face from someone else’s. If you have that problem, click on “Improve Face Matching” and follow the instructions.
Voice Match recognizes the sound of your voice and your speech patterns and unlocks your phone without you touching it. To use this Smart Lock option, set up your voice recognition options and enable voice match access.
1. In the Smart Lock settings menu tap Voice Match or go to “Settings -> Google -> Search -> Voice -> Voice Match.”
2. Toggle on the “OK, Google” voice command and the option to unlock your phone.
3. If it’s not working well, choose “Retrain voice model” to improve it.
The final method for utilizing Smart Lock on your Android device is Trusted Devices pairing. It keeps your phone unlocked whenever it is close to other devices you trust, like your smartwatch. The device automatically unlocks your phone whenever they connect.
This option has some limitations, however. If the phone decides the connection is unsecured, Trusted Devices will fail. The range can be a problem as well. Others could access your phone up to 100 meters away from the trusted device!
To use Trusted Devices to unlock your phone:
1. Open the Smart Lock menu.
2. Tap Trusted Devices.
3. Tap Add trusted device, and choose one of your trusted devices to unlock your phone.
Every Android doesn’t have all of these options, but on my old Galaxy 6, the only one missing is Trusted Face. If you are tired of continually tapping in your PIN when you are just sitting at home, at least one of these options may work well for you.