How many times a day do you unlock your smartphone? I’d be willing to wager that for a great number of you, the answer is in the hundreds. Having your phone locked is responsible and pretty much required, while unlocking it is annoying and frustrating. Fortunately, Google gave the answer during their I/O 2014 keynote: Personal Unlocking.
Under the new Android “L” release, Personal Unlocking will allow users to designate a Bluetooth device or geographical location that indicate the trusted owner is near –and then doesn’t require the login sequence to gain access. Demonstrations of the feature were done with a watch (which comes as no surprise), but just about anything should work.
Until users have a chance to test-drive this feature, it won’t be known how accurate and securely it behaves. One should assume that for devices carrying highly sensitive material, Personal Unlocking shouldn’t be used… but for the average person who just wants to make it more difficult for somebody to level you in Angry Birds or read your email and text messages, it should work a treat.
Caution should be exercised for other reasons of course, consider just how many Facebook posts will be spoofed by your spouse from your smartphone or tablet if you specify your home as a ‘safe zone’?