Mobile Software

Android 5.0 Face Unlock Could Finally Replace Your Passcode

Apple may have perfected the fingerprint scanner with its Touch ID technology, but Google might just have an equally powerful security feature hidden inside its Android 5.0 Lollipop update. An improved version of Android’s face unlock technology might finally convince you to use the feature instead of a regular passcode.

Spotted by Android Police, the new Lollipop feature called “Trusted Face” offers a drastically improved version of the facial recognition technology first introduced with Android 4.0. While the original feature took too long to actually be convenient and could even be tricked with a photograph of the device’s owner, Trusted Face might finally kill the Android passcode.

As soon as you wake up your phone, the camera will start looking for your face while a face-shaped icon lets you know it’s hard at work. Once it gets a match, the lockscreen automatically prompts you to swipe and unlock the device. Of course, if for some reason it can’t read your face you can always use a regular passcode.

We haven’t had a chance to test out Trusted Face just yet, but it sounds a lot like the seamless unlock experience Apple offers with Touch ID. On newer iPhones, you simply reach for the Home button out of habit and it scans your fingerprint automatically. Now, Android can offer an equally magical experience; just turn on your device and it starts scanning your face automatically in the background.

We’re still waiting to put Android 5.0 Lollipop through its paces, and part of that will be testing out Google’s new facial recognition technology. It’s too soon to say just yet, but if Trusted Face works as well as Apple’s Touch ID, it could be one of the best features Google rolls out this year.