Open Sesame: New Function Allows Android Smartphones To Be Unlocked Via Voice Commands

At this point Google already has an assortment of options that cleverly lock your home screen, including the ‘trusted places or devices’ feature. However, Google has now added a whole new impressive security unlock/lock feature which is being called the ‘Trusted Voice’ option. What this basically entails is if you say “Ok, Google” your voice will automatically unlock your phone, but importantly, anyone else’s voice will not be able to unlock it.

Trusted Voice, also known as Smart Lock, has been added to the newest Android 5.0 Lollipop phones. The feature gives you the option of picking a traditional lock screen such as a four digit PIN, or password, or patter etc. but it also allows you to skip past these security obstacles if certain conditions are fulfilled. As in the first two installments of Lollipop, you were able to add a ‘Trusted Device’ which would allow you to go passed the lock screen if you were linked up to a specific Bluetooth device; and ‘Trusted Face,’ which used facial recognition to grant access by using the front facing camera on the phone.

android smartphonesBut now with Trusted Voice, your voice becomes the password that gives you access to your phone. As previously mentioned using the voice command “Ok, Google” grants you instant access to your phone. Indeed Google is beginning to make it a point to push for more and more voice commands as part of the core of Android phones, such as the Nexus 6 having the voice recognition security feature on at all times. Yet, some voice commands can be blocked by a secure lock screen, which tends to neutralize and takes the fun out of using the security feature. However, the new Trusted Voice smart lock resolves that issue by sidestepping the lock screen based on how you say the phrase “Ok, Google.”

Yet how secure is this new innovative system? In fairness a popup appears when you implement Trusted Voice that alerts you to the fact that the feature is not as secure as a traditional lock screen may be. Detailing that an individual with a similar voice to yours, or perhaps a recording of your voice could potentially unlock your phone. Users have been wanting to test the feature out for themselves, but are unable to due to the fact that it hasn’t been made publicly available yet. The only source of knowledge of a security risk was brought about by a report by Android Police.

While Lollipop launched with only Trusted Devices and Trusted Face, Google has made some lock screen functionality in Android 5.0, enabling it to integrate new smart locks into the phone byway of Google Play Services. Since the launch of Lollipop, there has been a steady rise of adding more smart locks. There's the Trusted Places feature, which sidesteps the lock screen when you're at specific areas such as home home or work, and perhaps the most zany feature, the On-body detection, which keeps the phone unlocked while it is in your pocket, but then locks when it is taken out.

With several security measures to choose from users can employ the one they feel works best for them.

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