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Android 13 will solve a major smart home annoyance

Google has released the first Android 13 public beta and those delving into the software have noted the next-gen OS will do away with a major smart home pain point.

Beta 1, available to users with a Pixel phone will finally enable users to control smart home devices from the phone’s lock screen without actually unlocking the phone.

As 9to5Google points out, Android 12 required users to unlock their devices in order to turn off their lights and cameras via the lock screen shortcuts, which almost defied the point of having them there.

The first beta of Android 13 features a Home button in the bottom left corner of the screen. Tapping it automatically brings up the available smart home devices, which can now be toggled on and off without authenticating the identity of the device owner.

The “Control from locked device” appears within the lock screen settings menu. It will enable users to control “external devices without unlocking your phone or tablet if allowed by the device controls app.” That means it’ll have to be a smart home device supported by the Google Home app in the first place.

Toggling this off will revert to the current system where you’ll need to authenticate with your pin or fingerprint. You might want to do that if you live with people who may would love nothing more than to turn out all the lights on you while you’re in the bathroom.

Of course, the feature could look very different by the time it rolls out to all users within Android 13 for Pixel device owners this summer.

The first beta is available for Pixel owners from today, bringing all of the features we’ve seen in the developer previews thus far and some new media permissions. That means the new notifications permissions interface, which will require developers to ask you before they bombard you with alerts. It also includes the new photo picker, and Bluetooth LE audio and MIDI 2.0 over USB support. There’s also per-app language support.

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