Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

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.

Related: Best Android Q features

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.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.