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Google ditches Voice Match feature’s ability to unlock your Android phone

Android users can no longer use “OK Google” voice commands to fully unlock their handset. As it did for the Pixel 3 smartphones, Google has disabled the element of the Voice Match feature that had enabled a full device unlock for all Android devices.

Now the commands, which used voice mapping software to add a layer of security for users, will be able to yield fewer “personal results” from the Google Assistant without manually unlocking their phone, 9to5Google reports.

For example, Assistant will deliver verbal or visual cues for features like calendar appointments, reminders, and important information from a Gmail account, while the phone remains locked.

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However, the change in functionality will now prevent Android users from playing music, for example, without manually unlocking the handset with a pin, pattern, passcode or other biometric security measure.

From the beginning Google had warned customers that the Unlock With Voice Match feature within the Assistant settings menu was a least safe option. It told users a “similar voice or recording of your voice could unlock your device.”

The company had built in a failsafe, with one or more failed unlock attempts requiring one of the alternate methods to be used. The change had been expected though, Google announced in January that the gutting of the Voice Match feature would be rolling out to all devices in the next few weeks.

Within a recent APK update, Google had also promised: “The Voice Match to unlock feature you’ve been using has been replaced with a more secure way to get personal results while your device is locked. You can change this in your Assistant settings.”

Have you noticed the change on your Android phone? Will you miss the ability to unlock the phone and play music with your voice? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.