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You could soon unlock your Android phone with your Wear OS watch

Google's Watch Unlock feature seems ready to go, but it's not live yet

Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch

Back at CES 2023, Google showed off its Watch Unlock feature, which allows people to unlock their phone with their smartwatch. However, Google hasn’t released the feature yet, though it appears the feature is ready to go.

User ‘@AssembleDebug‘ on the website formerly known as Twitter shared a screen recording of the Watch Unlock feature, which they activated by enabling some low-level system flags. The feature appears under a ‘More security settings’ section on a Pixel phone.

The screen recording goes through the Watch Unlock menu, which includes a description of the feature, an animation showing how it works, and more details about the functionality.

Once Watch Unlock becomes available, people will be able to unlock their smartphone with a nearby smartwatch. The watch will need to be unlocked and on the person’s wrist for this to work — if you haven’t tried it before, Wear OS watches will lock when off of someone’s wrist, but will stay unlocked as long as they’re on the wrist. The feature seemingly extends this state to the person’s nearby smartphone, allowing them to pick it up and open the phone without needing a fingerprint, face, or other method of unlocking as long as there’s a nearby, paired, unlocked smartwatch.

Moreover, when the phone is unlocked, it pings the paired smartwatch. The watch wearer can choose to lock the connected smartphone from the notification.

Finally, the menu contains warnings that the feature might be less secure than using other forms of unlocking.

With the feature seemingly ready to go, all that remains is when it will release. While there’s no clear answer to that now, the likeliest release will be alongside Android 14. However, it could also arrive with the Pixel 8 series and the Pixel Watch 2 later this year.

Source: @AssembleDebug Via: Android Police

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