Face Unlock: facial recognition finally not buried on the Google Pixel?

This is a feature that has disappeared from the American manufacturer’s smartphones, and that fans hoped to find on its latest flagship. However, neither the Pixel 6 nor the Pixel 6 Pro are equipped with a Face Unlock unlocking system. However, several clues suggest that Google has not completely abandoned its facial recognition tool…

While among bitten apple enthusiasts, some dream of seeing Apple reconnect with Touch ID, more specifically by adopting a fingerprint reader under the screen for its future iPhones, among Google enthusiasts, it’s the opposite. : many are those who regret that the other Californian giant no longer offers a facial recognition unlocking system on its smartphones. As a reminder, the Mountain View company had developed this technology a few years ago, but at present only its Pixel 4, released in the fall of 2019, has benefited from it…

The feature called Face Unlock was indeed no longer present on its successor, the Pixel 5. And although some had hoped to see it reappear on the next generation, with even leaks on the Web going in this direction, here it is that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, unveiled last October, were still deadlocked. Enough to suggest that Google would have definitely drawn a line under facial recognition. Except that.

For a few months, it has been rumored that Face Unlock could well be reborn from its ashes. And this even earlier than one might imagine: even before the arrival of the next Pixel 7, could the American manufacturer still offer this functionality via a simple update on the Pixel 6? The rumor began to take shape as early as last December, when 9To5Google tampered with the Android 12L beta. As a reminder, this is a version of the famous mobile operating system intended for large devices, namely tablets and foldable smartphones. So a priori no relation to the flagships of Google, yet it would be in its code that the specialized site claims to have found the trace of Face Unlock. More specifically, it indicates the presence of lines of text within the Settings application that point to the possibility of making an authentication choice, between facial recognition, the fingerprint reader, or both.

The return of Face Unlock on the Pixel 6 Pro?

To note that 9To5Google also emphasizes the presence of the term “experimental” in other lines of code referring to this technology, suggesting that it would only be on trial, and that there is no guarantee that it would ever see the light of day… Still, this single mention of Face Unlock would indeed prove that Google has not yet completely buried its facial recognition unlocking system. much more obvious: as the specialized site reported once again, last Sunday, a user saw Face Unlock with his eyes, offered on his new Pixel 6 Pro…

Well, let’s not panic too quickly, the user in question is not really able to unlock his precious device by facial recognition. But it was while configuring his Google Pixel 6 Pro that he saw the mention of Face Unlock appear on the screen: on the page offering him to choose his unlocking system, to the usual “pattern” (Plan), “Fingerprint“(Imprint),”PINE” and “Password” (Password) has indeed added the method “Face” (literally, Face). 9To5Google reports that in practice, the individual was unable to configure the Face Unlock function and it then no longer appeared in the Settings. This is clearly called a bug. But a bug that shows that facial recognition is still on the table at Google.

It remains to be seen when, and on which smartphone it could reappear? While it’s hard to know at this point, 9To5Google already specified last December that, if Face Unlock were indeed to make a comeback via an upcoming Android update, this feature could only concern the Pixel 6 Pro, having not appeared in any line of code alongside the Pixel 6. Case to follow.

Sources: 9To5Google, Frandroid

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