Google responds to the Face unlock foibles of the Pixel 4

Google Pixel 4 XL

Image Google

When the Pixel 4 actually arrived, however, that option was no longer there.

You can't complain about its speed, certainly.

Problem is, that can happen whether you're intending to unlock your Pixel 4 or fast asleep at the time. The Pixel 4's cabled charging system gets up to 18W of power, while it can wirelessly charge at up to 11W.

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Now, Google says that it's working to restore the setting.

The search giant suggested that Pixel 4 owners who are concerned about their phone's security in the meantime can activate a feature "that requires a PIN, pattern or password for the next unlock".

Unlike the similar feature on iPhones, FaceID, the Pixel face unlock does not require the user to be looking at the phone - or even to have their eyes open. It is resilient against invalid unlock attempts via other means, like with masks. In contrast, Apple's Face ID makes sure you're alert before your iPhone will unlock.

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While Google's eyes-closed face unlock has caused consternation from some users, it does up the ante in other features like an infrared system that is able to read facial depth and prevent the device from being opened by a picture.

It goes without saying that the Pixel 4 phones that are shipping to customers later this week will not have Eyes open enabled, so you should rely on a PIN or password if you're anxious anyone can abuse the feature to unlock your device.

Last week, a Google support document invited the unwelcome possibility that someone else could unlock their phone simply by holding it in front of the user's sleeping face.

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We've known for several months that the Pixel 4 will feature support for 3D face recognition, as Google announced the feature well before this fall's Made by Google event. One big reason for that is the fact that people are pretty lazy, even when it comes to something as serious as locking down the device that's at the center of most of their digital life.

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