large image

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

Google’s On-Body Detection will keep your Android unlocked in your pocket

Google is rolling out a new feature called On-Body Detection, which will keep your Android phone unlocked while in your pocket.

On-Body Detection is a new smart lock feature that detects when an Android phone is on a user’s person or in their hand, and prevents the lock function from activating until it’s set down.

Once you do put the phone down – arguably when it’s at its most vulnerable to theft or unwanted handling – the lock mechanism will engage as normal.

The main trouble with the feature is that it seems unable to detect when a phone has been passed off to another person – it’s a simple, dumb accelerometer-based tool.

This obviously means that if you have your phone pinched from your bag or pocket (or in a more aggressive manner), it will be completely at the mercy of the thief.

Read More: 10 best Android phones

The feature was discovered recently by readers of Android fan website Android Police. Interestingly, the user in question was running a Nexus 4 with Android 5.0.1 Lollipop – so not the very latest version of Google’s mobile OS or its latest hardware.

However, the On-Body Detection option is now being spotted on a number of devices, including most Nexus handsets. It appears as if Google is slowly and quietly rolling it out, and that it might not be a part of the core Android OS.

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 millions of users a month from 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.