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Google may remove ‘Voice Unlock’ to introduce a more secure replacement on Android devices

The information was revealed in the APK teardown of an upcoming version of Google app.

  • Published: October 29, 2018 8:16 PM IST
google-app-teardown-9to5google

Image Credit: 9to5Google


Among the many features that Google’s Android mobile operating system offers, an interesting (even if not that much widely-used) is ‘Voice Unlock’. As the name suggests, the feature, which works in tandem with Google Assistant, allows users to unlock their Android device (using the ‘Unlock with Voice Match’ functionality) by merely speaking to the device. Convenient as it sounds, it seems Google is planning to do away with voice unlock on all Android devices.

The information was revealed in a tear-down of the upcoming v8.39 of Google’s app, done by 9to5Google. The APK reveals an ‘Updated Voice Match’ prompt that details the replacement of the feature, and that ‘Lock Screen personal results’ will be the ‘more secure way’ going forward.

It’s worth mentioning that Google’s new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones already have ‘Lock Screen personal results’ in place of voice unlock. What this essentially means is that while voice unlock can be used for basic things like showing calendar entries, but any further action on them would require a password (or fingerprint authentication) from the user.

Watch: Google Pixel 3 XL Hands On

Doing away with voice unlock on Android makes sense, since even Google acknowledges that the feature is not really secure. In fact, during the setting up of the feature on Android devices, a prompt warns users that “a similar recording of your voice” could be used to unlock your device and allow anyone access to the data stored on it.

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  • Published Date: October 29, 2018 8:16 PM IST