Google Pixel 6 might still get face unlock

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro might be in line to receive a face unlock system after all, according to recently revealed information.

It was something of a surprise when the Pixel 6 line launched without the ability to authenticate using your face. Various of the many leaks leading up to the release pointed to facial biometric authentication being part of the package, only for Google to cut it from the final Pixel 6 products.

According to information dug up by XDA-developers, this was indeed an intended feature, but Google opted to cut it at the final moment.

On July 9th a change was commited to the pixel 6´s powerhal config file for “face unlock”.Link here: google is calling the feature “Tuscany” in this commit. There might still be hope the feature will surface in the next feature drop.— Mile (@mile_freak07) November 10, 2021

As the tweet points out, Google made a late code change to a Pixel 6 config file suggesting that it wasn’t happy with the face unlock feature, code-named ‘Tuscany’, specifically with regards to its impact on battery life. Which, as anyone who read our Pixel 6 Pro review will know, isn’t too hot anyway.

We’re not sure if Google ever got this feature to an acceptable state ahead of launch, but the timing of this mention and the lack of the feature at launch suggests that it didn’t.

However, as XDA-Developers points out, the fact that such code still exists and hasn’t simply been erased from existence offers a glimmer of hope. It might just be that Face Unlock makes its way to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in a future update.

We recently saw the Adaptive Sound feature start to make its way to Google’s latest phones without so much as an official announcement. The Pixel 6 is clearly a work in progress.

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