Mobile

Android Update Lets Users Unlock Phones With Just Their Voices

With the Google Play Services 7.0 update, Android is rolling out a new feature that will let users unlock their phones with just their voice. The first batch of users are reportedly able to access the Trusted Voice feature in their phone’s Smart Lock settings menus.

Once enabled, users simply have to say “OK Google” to use it. While that’s simple enough, it also may be less safe. The feature comes with a warning that it isn’t as secure as using PIN, pattern or your standard password. If your phone is misplaced or stolen, someone who has a recording of your voice or even a similar-sounding voice could unlock the phone.

Read more: Latest Android Update Puts Emphasis on Security

Trusted Voice is joining several other similar Smart Lock options like Trusted Face and Trusted Places, which allows users to select locations, like their home or office, where the phone automatically unlocks.

Other options are Trusted Bluetooth devices, which ensures the phone is unlocked whenever the two are connected, and a trusted NFC (near field communication) tag that, for example, can be placed in a car.

Like Trusted Voice, Trusted Face comes with a caveat: “This is less secure than a pattern, PIN, or password. Someone who looks similar to you could unlock your phone.”

Related: How Microsoft Is Taking on Google on Its Home Turf

Edition: December 2016

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