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Google Pixel 4 April update finally makes Face Unlock safe to use

Google has dropped a Pixel 4 update that fixes a long-standing and remarkable security flaw with the phone’s Face Unlock feature.

The April security update for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL handsets now enable owners to ensure their eyes must be open in order for the handset to unlock when using the biometric tech.

The Face Unlock menu now includes a setting reading “Require eyes to be open,” which is still optional for those who’re particularly trusting of their fellow humans.

Google first previewed the feature in the Android 11 DP2 released to developers last month, so it’s great to see the company quickly roll it into the main build of Android 10 for Pixel phones.

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However, it must be said that it has taken more than six months to get to this stage, rendering the feature practically worthless as an effective security tool until now.

When the handset was released last October, reviewers were shocked to learn it was possible to unlock the handset while their eyes were closed. That meant sleeping Pixel 4 owners were susceptible to pranks, at best, and serious security breaches in the worst instances.

Google promised a fix for the issue back in October 2019, saying it was “working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months.” However, until now the ability to use Face Unlock without worrying about who else is around has eluded users.

Elsewhere, the update brings improvements for Bluetooth connectivity. The updates, that apply to all models from the 2/XL and up, offer a fix for a memory leak issue that can prevent additional Bluetooth Low Energy connections and a fix for an issue with dropped Bluetooth audio inputs in call. The update also brings a fix for keyboard lag when opening some applications.

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