Tuesday , June 5 2018

Google’s Smart Lock seems to have lost Trusted Places, and now got it back again

Google’s Smart Unlock feature (which you’ll find in most modern Androids regardless of which company made yours) makes it easier to get into your phone in places (and circumstances) in which it’s safe to do so. For example, you can use your Smartwatch as a trusted device so that when your phone detects your watch, it’ll unlock without a PIN or fingerprint.

One of the options has been Trusted Places, allowing you to – in theory, at least – designate your home, school or workplace as a trusted place, in which your phone will automatically unlock.

However, Android Police reported yesterday that this feature had strangely disappeared.

It seems that this may have just been an aberration – comments on a Google+ post about the feature say it reappeared after an update to Google Play Services (which you can grab the most recent version of at APK Mirror). Some users have reported that although the option has returned to the menu, the feature still isn’t functional, but your mileage may vary.

Frankly, this is one of Secure Unlock’s features that I rarely use personally – just because I’m at work doesn’t mean I’m happy for someone else to walk past my desk, pick up my phone and start using it. I’d rather make sure it’s on me (using On-Body Detection), or near enough to my smartwatch, before I disable that unlock function.

Then again, considering how easy fingerprint unlock is to use, Smart Lock’s utility is certainly less these days. If your phone doesn’t support fingerprint or face recognition, though, Smart Unlock can certainly come in handy (when paired to your car’s Bluetooth, for example).

Do you use Smart Unlock or Trusted Places?

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

3 comments

  1. The phone is paired to the watch and the fingerprint, but I use Trusted Places for my tablet. I’d been wondering why it kept asking me for my unlock code recently.

  2. Rob Pennefather

    Smart Lock Trusted Places is incredibly convenient for me when I’m using my phone on my desk at home.

    When it’s laying flat on the desk and I wish to use the phone, then it should be very convenient. No need to pick up the phone to face unlock or fingerprint unlock – my S8 has the fingerprint reader on the rear.

    I say that “it should be convenient” intentionally, as Trusted Places has been borked for months, and in typical Google fashion, still has not been fixed. Sometimes it works, most times it does not. It used to be very reliable, but not anymore.

    Oh well, maybe in Android Pavlova they’ll get around to fixing it. Exceptionally frustrating, but Google doesn’t care.

  3. I use it whenever at home or at office.

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