Google came up with its own face unlock system for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL using those advanced sensors in the phone’s top bezel. The technology behind it is similar to Apple’s Face ID, and aside from just letting you into your phone, Google believes face unlock is secure enough to serve as an authentication method across Android.
(There’s no more fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 4, remember.) And it’s very fast.
This is a risk factor that iPhones don’t share.
By default, Apple’s Face ID requires attention — meaning your eyes need to be open and actively looking at the iPhone or iPad Pro screen — to successfully unlock a device. This setting, which Apple says is an added security measure, can be disabled in settings if a customer so chooses.
For the Pixel 4, there’s no such option — not yet, at least.
However, according to Fox, this toggle is not present on the Pixel 4’s software that will ship to consumers next week. When reached by The Verge, Google didn’t say one way or the other whether this added layer of security is definitely coming.
“We don’t have anything specific to announce regarding future features or timing, but like most of our products, this feature is designed to get better over time with future software updates,” a spokesperson said by email.
Maybe you’re wondering why this matters.
Well, aside from snooping friends or partners, the Pixel 4’s face unlock (in its current state) could make it easier for authorities to unlock a seized device without the owner’s permission. If all it takes is pointing the phone at your face, that’s not great.
But there is one way Pixel 4 buyers can prevent that possibility until Google rolls out a fix.
<img style="max-width: 760px" src="http://www.ladyclick.
iOS has a similarly quick trick: you can just hold down the power button and one of the volume buttons until you see the power down menu (or feel a vibration if you’re not looking at the phone), after which Face ID is temporarily disabled until the PIN is entered.