‘Face Unlock’ might be heading to the Pixel 6 Pro, Google’s latest flagship smartphone.
According to 9to5Google’s digging into the Android 12L beta for Pixel devices, Google is looking to bring back Face Unlock to its smartphone line.
The code specifically mentions the ability to use “face or fingerprint” authentication, which would be a first for a Google handset. A further dive into the APK reveals references to a face authentication feature for the Pixel 6 that Google considers “experimental.”
However, it’s unclear if this feature will launch alongside the Android 12L beta or if it will be part of a future Pixel ‘feature drop’ only available for the Pixel 6 Pro.
It’s unclear why Face Unlock might only release on for the Pixel 6 Pro, as the Pixel 6’s selfie hardware is nearly identical. The smaller model offers a narrower field-of-view and features an 8-megapixel shooter compared to the Pro’s 11.1-megapixels, but otherwise, it’s the same.
This isn’t the first time Android code has hinted at a potential Pixel 6 Pro Face Unlock feature. Back in November, a developer found some code in the Pixel 6 series’ ‘PowerHAL’ config file that referenced Face Unlock.
It’s worth mentioning that the Pixel 4 series was the last Google smartphone to offer Face Unlock, though it also lacked a fingerprint scanner. However, the Pixel 4 also had specific hardware to handle facial unlock, whereas the Pixel 6 line doesn’t.