Do you find yourself unlocking your phone countless times each day? It can get quite annoying to type in your PIN or to keep sliding your finger against the fingerprint sensor to open it. Luckily, Android offers Smart Lock for devices running Lollipop or later. Here we show you how to activate Smart Lock on your Android phone so that you don’t have to bother with constantly unlocking your device – at least in certain situations/places.
What Is Smart Lock?
Smart Lock lets you choose situations where your phone stays unlocked for extended periods of time. For example, Trusted Location settings keeps your phone unlocked at home, but there are other variations that could be useful to you.
This feature will give you access to your device(s) much faster – but only when you’re not worried about security. Smart Lock will let you revert to regular security in those situations, such as when you’re in pubic.
Locate Your Smart Lock Settings
Depending on your phone model, you may find Smart Lock in different places. For this tutorial, we’re using a OnePlus phone.
1. Open Settings on your device.
2. Scroll down to tap on “Security & Lockscreen.”
3. Tap on “Smart Lock” at the bottom.
4. Use your password, unlock pattern, PIN or fingerprint to confirm your identity.
5. The options for Smart Lock should appear.
On other models, the option might be hiding under Security or Lock Screen. Find out more about these options below.
This Smart Lock setting is easy to configure. It takes advantage of the sensors on your phone to detect whether you are carrying it with you. There’s a slight problem here, though. If you give your phone to someone else, the device has no way of knowing whether it is you who is moving it around. Some phones, though, have the capability of learning your particular gait and lock for anyone else but you. Another problem arises when you get into a vehicle. It could take up to ten minutes for your phone to lock.
Here’s how to enable On-Body Detection on your device.
1. In Android’s Smart Lock menu, tap “On-body detection.”
2.Toggle on the On-Body Detection option at the top.
3. Google will issue a warning of its own that On-Body Detection can’t distinguish between you and someone else. If you’re willing to take the risk, press OK and activate the feature.
Now every time you put your phone in your pocket and take it back out for a quick glance, it will be unlocked.
When you enable Trusted Places, your phone uses geographical boundaries from its mapping software to determine if you are 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’re not sure how to do this, follow these steps.
1. Go to Settings on your device.
2. Select “Location.”
3. Make sure the “Use location” toggle is on.
After the location is enabled, you can start using Trusted Places.
1. Tap on “Trusted Places” in the Smart Lock menu.
2. Tap on “Home” to use the Home location you’ve set in Google Maps, then “Turn on this location.”
3. Alternatively, tap on “Add trusted place” to manually select another location. You can opt for your current location.
4. To pick a location other than your current one, tap Search and type the name or address of a trusted place, then tap OK. You can also check the list of nearby places that are listed or simply tap on “Select this location.”
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 a smartwatch. The device automatically unlocks your phone whenever they connect.
The option does have its limitations. If the phone decides the connection is not secure, Trusted Devices will fail. The range can be a problem as well. Others could access your device even with the trusted device being 100 meters away.
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 Bluetooth devices to unlock your phone.
4. Make the selection, then tap on the “Yes, add” button to complete the setup.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I do if Trusted Places doesn’t work?
Smart Lock’s Trusted Places can be a very handy feature – when it’s not buggy. If you are facing issues, start troubleshooting by going through these suggested fixes. Alternatively, if you’re using the Home address you provided in Google Maps, go to Settings in the app, then “Edit home or work” to set the location again. Move the pin ever so slightly into a different direction and Save, then return the pin to your actual home address and tap Save again. This forces the Smart Lock system to reset.
2. Why can’t I see Trusted Face and Trusted Voice in my list of Smart Lock features?
Smart Lock used to contain Trusted Face and Trusted Voice as well, but these features are no longer available for most users. Wiping out these functionalities happened quite seamlessly, as they were never part of the Android firmware. They were controlled by Google Play Services, which silently removed them. On many phones, Face Unlock is now a separate option under “Security & lock screen” in the device’s Settings. Users can easily add face data by following the steps outlined.
3. Is there an alternative to Trusted Voice?
The best option you have is to employ the help of Google Assistant. While you can’t use Google’s virtual helper to unlock your phone when it hears your voice, you can, however, ask the Assistant to perform several tasks from your lock screen, such as calling your contacts, sending emails and more. Read on to learn how to access Google Assistant and give it voice commands without having to unlock your phone.
Now that you know how to use Smart Lock on your device, perhaps you’d also be interested in learning how to hide notifications from the lock screen and prevent your Android screen from turning off when looked at it.