How many times do you have to enter your lock screen password/pin/pattern during the day to get into your Android smartphone? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Wouldn't it be nice if you could simply look into that front-facing camera and have Android recognize you and unlock your device?
Oh wait, that's actually a thing! It's called Trusted face, and it's quite simple to set up. In this pro tip, I'll show you how to take care of this, so you'll no longer have to enter that password/pin/pattern to get into your phone.
If you're wondering how secure this is, consider the security pattern. If you're not careful, you'll leave a nice smudge on your device that perfectly draws your pattern—giving would-be ne'er-do-wells an opportunity to gain access to that data. With Trusted face, that doesn't happen. Truth be told, Trusted face is quite reliable.
With that said, let's set this up.
Trusted face is a component of Smart Lock, so you'll need Android 5.0 or greater. Here's how you set it up:
- Open Settings
- Tap Security | Smart Lock
- Enter your security password/pin/pattern
- Tap Trusted face
- Tap SET UP
- Tap NEXT
- Line your face up with the dotted lines (Figure A)
- Once Android indicates "Got it," tap NEXT
- Tap OK
Setting up Trusted face on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.
Now all you have to do to unlock your device is press the power button, stare at your phone (until the tiny lock icon at the bottom switches from locked to unlocked), and then swipe up to dismiss notifications and get to your home screen. Don't worry, it's almost immediate... so, there's really no wait involved.
Note: If you find Trusted face not working reliably, you can go back into the setup process and then tap Improve face matching. This will give you a chance to have the system re-recognize your face. Make sure there's good lighting (not too dark and not too light) while you have Smart Lock capture your mug.
Unlocking your phone has never been easier. With the help of Android Lollipop's Smart Lock system, you'll no longer have to enter that password throughout the day to gain access to your data. Just a quick glance with the only face you have is all that you need.
What is your preferred method of unlocking your Android device? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.