Is Face Unlock finally on its way to Google Pixel phones?

For some time, users have waited patiently for the arrival of Face Unlock on the Google Pixel 6 – but does this new clue indicate its imminent arrival?

While many of today’s phones are able to be unlocked by just presenting your face to the camera, with Apple’s Face ID feature being a particularly sophisticated biometric procedure, it does admittedly seem strange that Google’s flagship series of smartphones lacks the ability to be unlocked by showing your face – especially given that the Pixel 4 did have this ability. However, an eagle-eyed Pixel customer has spotted a subtle clue that could mean this issue will be rectified.

When a Reddit user started up their new Google Pixel 6, they were greeted with the options of using a pattern, their fingerprint, or their face to unlock the phone. But of course this phone famously lacks the latter ability, which makes the prompt rather baffling in this context.

The user later clarified:

I am not seeing this option in my settings at all the only time I ever saw it was during my setup process which I have only done once and thought that someone here would find it interesting. There is no option to turn on face unlock and it never wanted me to register it when I set up my phone. There is no face unlock feature yet. That is just something that I saw in the setup process.

So, what could have caused this rather strange mix-up?

One explanation could be that Face Unlock was intended to be a part of the Pixel 6’s feature list before launch, but was dropped before the device was released and this prompt is merely the vestigial remains of that plan.

However, more excitingly, this could indicate the imminent roll-out of a Face Unlock feature to the Pixel 6 series as a post-launch update. Such an announcement could be made at Google I/O 2022 or potentially even earlier, so we’ll keep our ears to the ground just in case there’s any more word on such a development.

The addition of Face Unlock to the Google Pixel 6 and Google Pixel 6 Pro would certainly add an extra level of convenience to the device, as using it to open your phone or even undergo security checks on sensitive apps is an easy and appealing way of navigating around your handset.

If such a technology is rolled out, even long after the launch date, we would strongly hope that the wait will be made worthwhile by this version of Face Unlock using a genuine 3D-scan of your face, rather than the less-secure 2D scans that are far more widespread on Android smartphones.

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