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Google’s upcoming Android L update will do away with passwords – at least for dedicated Google fans, with Google devices like Android Wear watches used to authenticate users instead of PIN codes or passwords in the new update, according to a report by PC World.
Sundar Pichoi, Google’s senior vice president in charge of both Chrome and Android revealed at Google’s I/O conference this week in San Francisco that Google’s Chromebooks – the company’s laptop operating system – could also be unlocked if a user’s Android L phone was present.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the demo showed off a smartwatch being used to unlock an Android phone, but that other Bluetooth devices nominated by the user could also be used to bypass the lock screen.
David Burke, Android’s Director of Engineering, said that phones could be unlocked using, “signals like locations you’ve designated, Bluetooth devices, or even your unique voice print,” according to Best Techie’s report.
Android Police commented that, “It can tether to your Android Wear device or remember your home WiFi. It will be faster to get at your content much of the time without sacrificing much in the way of security.”
Users will designate a single device to unlock each Android L phone or tablet. When a user is present, the device will signal the Android phone or tablet to say so, and the device can be unlocked without a passcode or password.
It’s not clear exactly how certain features will work – for instance, the geographic location – but the new operating system will be available to developers from this week, and to the general public this fall. Android L is a work-in-progress name, and the new OS is expected to be named after a dessert (or chocolate bar), as is standard with Android updates such as KitKat and Ice Cream Sandwich.
The first wearable devices armed with the Android Wear operating system used to demonstrate the Personal Unlocking feature will go on sale this July.
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security