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What is Google Smart Lock? How does it work on Android and Chromebooks?


Have you ever seen somebody pick up their Android phone and have it unlock without a passcode, but when you try it, there’s a security measure in place? Well, Google Smart Lock is a feature that can be responsible for such behavior. While not the most secure way to protect your device and its contents, it does make it more accessible in specific scenarios. Under the Smart Lock banner, Google presents three products – Smart Lock for Android, Smart Lock for Passwords, and Smart Lock for Chromebook, each of which aims to make your life easier.

So basically, Google Smart Lock consists of features that allow you to quickly unlock and begin using a device or log into accounts with just a few taps, avoiding the need to remember a passcode.

Smart Lock for Android

Smart Lock for Android consists of three listed options that you can use to keep your device unlocked.

  • On-body Detection: This method needs you to unlock your device once, following which it will remain unlocked until it believes it has been kept on a table or at a place away from you.
  • Trusted Devices: If you wear a fitness band or perhaps have other devices that use Bluetooth to connect to your phone, this option allows you to select those as a trusted entity. Your phone will now not require a passcode to unlock when it pairs with these entities.
  • Trusted Places: As indicative of the name, through this, you can set any location — ideally your home — as a place where your device may remain unlocked.
Google Smart Lock for Android on OnePlus 5

Smart Lock for Android on OnePlus 5 running Android 10

Please Note: With the Google Assistant Voice Match and Face Unlock features being available on most Android phones, these have been removed from Smart Lock and are only part of it on older models.

Smart Lock for Passwords

This feature allows you to quickly log into various apps by sharing passwords saved to your account between devices. It functions like Apple’s iCloud-based Keychain service or any other password manager.

Image showcasing Smart Lock for Password's interfaceImage showcasing Smart Lock for Password's interface

Smart Lock for Chromebooks

Similar to Smart Lock for Android, this variant for Chromebooks will allow you to quickly log into your system, providing your phone uses the same Google Account.

For this feature to work, the linked smartphone will have to be unlocked, have Bluetooth turned on, and will need to have a type of screen lock (PIN, Pattern, or Passcode) configured.

Do you already use some of these features? If yes, let us know below where and how you use it.



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