While security is a must for your smartphones, there is no denying that unlocking your phone every time you want to use it can get a tad frustrating. Google has realized that and is hoping to solve it with a feature called “on-body detection.”
Google is currently rolling out a new smart lock mode called on-body detection. The feature, described in the screens below, uses your accelerometer to figure out when your device is in your hand or pocket, and lock when it’s not. The idea being if you leave your phone sitting on a table or forget it somewhere, it will lock, preventing would-be thieves from easily accessing your data.
The feature is a part of Android Lollipop, and was first spotted by the folks at Android Police. They have posted a bunch of screenshots that also explain how this feature works. In essence, this feature uses your smartphone’s accelerometer to determine where the phone is and accordingly decide if it needs to be locked or not.
So the first time you pick up the phone in the morning, you will need to unlock it. But as long as it is in your hands, pant pockets or your handbag, it will remain unlocked. The moment you set it down on a table, it will lock itself.
While it sounds like a boon for people who want the security of a pass code, but hate unlocking the phone every time they want to use it, there is a small catch. Since the feature uses the phone’s accelerometer to determine its position, it won’t be able to determine if someone else is holding your phone. So in essence, if you hand over your phone to someone, or if a pickpocket nicks it off you, the smartphone will remain unlocked.
The device the feature was noticed on was a Nexus 4 still running Android 5.0.1, but we’re now seeing it on many devices including most Nexuses. This doesn’t seem to be a feature related to Android 5.1, but you probably need 5.0+ for it to work. We do know our tipster has the most recent version of Play Services (we tried with the same version on our Nexuses, and no dice), and we know trusted places is enabled by Google Play Services, so it seems likely this on-body detection mode is probably activated similarly, and isn’t part of the core OS.
The on-body detection seems to be an extension of Google’s Trusted Devices, Trusted Places, and Trusted Face features. According to the publication, the feature is being rolled out to certain Nexus users running the latest version of Android and Google’s Play Service app. As with most Google roll outs, it could take a while before it arrives on your phone, so be patient.
Source : Android Police