There’s nothing more annoying than losing your phone while traveling. There’s also nothing more annoying than having to unlock your phone every time you want use it—especially when the only reason you lock it is in order to protect yourself from thieves.
Android’s On-Body Smart Lock aims to make both instances less annoying. The feature, which has been slowly coming to Android devices version 5.0 and up since Friday, allows users to unlock their device without having to enter their pin again unless the smartphone or tablet is no longer on their person.
The feature uses an accelerometer to determine if the device is still in your hand or your pocket. When it isn’t, the device will lock, prompting you to re-enter your pin. In other words, if you get up to board your plane and accidentally leave your phone behind, a thief won’t be able to unlock it since the device was left on a table, or maybe even the floor, away from your person.
However, the On-Body Smart Lock feature cannot tell the difference between your hand and someone else’s. Therefore, if you give your device to someone without setting it down first, it won’t lock. The device displays a message while the feature is in use notifying users that the phone will remain unlocked if handed to another person.
The feature also allows you to set zones where you can set the phone down without it going into lock mode. So if you’d like to set your phone down while at home or in an office, you can set your smartphone or tablet to recognize those areas in order to keep the phone unlocked.
So no more worrying about having to unlock your phone every time you want to take a photo of that cool statue while sightseeing in a foreign country. Now you also don’t have to worry about thieves accessing your device if you forget it at the bar in all your excitement.