Google Smart Lock is a convenient feature that will help you unlock your phone easier when at home and on the go!
There has been a lot of fuss over the upcoming iOS update that will make unlocking your iPhone easier with a mask on if you are paired with an Apple Watch. As a result, I’ve seen a lot of Android users complaining about Googles’ lack of a response on the Android side.
However, Android has had a built in feature to assist with unlocking your phone, or rather keeping it unlocked, for years now.
Smart Lock is a feature introduced in Android all the way back in 2014 with Android 5.0. It has evolved over the years adding some really useful features. The most noteworthy being trusted places and trusted devices.
Smart Lock Trusted Places
Trusted places is a Smart Lock feature that keeps your Android device unlocked when you are at a designated location. By default it selects your home location as an option but you can add others as desired. Such as work, the gym, or wherever. The setting uses your geolocation to keep the device unlocked.
Use this one with caution though, because if you leave your phone behind, it won’t lock until a period of about 4 hours has passed.
Smart Lock Trusted Devices
The trusted devices setting is the closest to what Apple is trying to achieve with its Apple Watch tie-in for the next iOS iteration. When your Android devices is connected to a Bluetooth device you can tell Android to keep your phone unlocked as long as this connection is active. This works best with devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy. Below shows the various Bluetooth devices I have paired with my Android device. Anytime these devices are connected by device is unlocked and ready to use. In my case, my Samsung smartwatch is connected to the phone 99% of the time, which cancels the other devices out, but I suggest adding them regardless of that as a fall back.
Smart Lock On-Body Detection
The final Smart Lock setting available to users is the on-body detection. I do not recommend using this one as it is the least secure of the bunch and Android has been known to think it is in motion even when completely stationary.
When working correctly Smart Lock will lock your device once motion is no longer detected. It is not a secure method, to say the least. Consider this one a major trade off for convenience.
That is Smart Lock in a but shell. A simple solution to keeping your phone conveniently unlocked while keeping security, for the most part, in tact. If you’re using a device that relies on face unlock, like the Pixel 4 using these features should be a big help when rocking your mask when out and about.
Thanks for reading the latest Syrup Drop! If you have any tips or tricks you would like to share get in touch with me HERE.
Turn off turn-by-turn audio in Google Maps with this handy tip!
I was listening to the All About Android podcast recently, and the show’s crew was talking about the annoyance of Google Maps barking out directions while driving that was more disruptive than helpful. One of the show hosts, Ron, said that he had never come across the option to reduce or silence Google Maps voice directions in all his years of using Android.
This is a feature I have used for years while using Google Maps as a passive timer and route avoidance tool. I was pretty surprised to hear someone on an Android Podcast say they had no idea that this feature existed. I also got a laugh out of Ron stating he was too busy with twins to sit down and learn about things like that. This was funny to me, because I too have twins, but they are kid number 4 and 5!
Regardless of the humour and surprise, I thought that if the AA crew didn’t know this function, many of you might not know about it as well.
Enter Syrup Drop; A series of posts that will feature a quick and useful tech-related tip that you may find helpful!
By default, Google Maps has all voice navigation unmuted and provides users with turn-by-turn directions while navigating from place to place. While this feature is beneficial when visiting a new destination, it can be somewhat distracting and in some case annoying when using Maps to plan you busy drive to work or some other location.
It is a pretty straightforward function to alter as well; there is no Apple-style digging through the settings to find this. The setting is staring right at you during your navigation. Check it out below.
The options are as follows;
Unmuted – Full voice navigation. Each turn, a different route or traffic issue is announced.
Alarms only – You’ll hear alerts like traffic, construction, and crashes. You won’t hear the constant turn-by-turn navigation.
Muted – This one is pretty self-explanatory. When active, Google Maps will stay completely silent. The only issue with this option is that should Google discover trouble on your route or a faster route, you’re likely to miss the onscreen pop-up.
That is it for this one! Hopefully, we can all get back to travelling soon and put this handy feature to use.
If you have any other tips and tricks like this, please get in touch with me HERE.
The time is has come. No more tasty dessert inspired versions of Android. Android Q is Android 10.
We all knew this coming at some point. Google/Android was going to run our tasty dessert names for each new version of its mobile OS. That time is now…
Android Q is Android 10
Why now? Well a few reasons. Desserts starting with the letter ‘Q’ are pretty much non-existent. A quick Google search turns up “Queijadinha”. I am not even going to try to say that one aloud. Second, this is Android version 10, and as with other OS giants, Microsoft and Apple, version 10 was a perfect time to switch things up. Finally, Google wants to be all grown up now. Android was a fun and niche OS in the early days but now, in 2019, it has more than 2.5 billion users worldwide and is used on devices spanning from smartphones to watches to TVs to cars. It was time for Google to give Android versions a fresh and understandable naming convention.
Google is also using this opportunity to change the logo for the brand too. Watch the video below to see how the new logo took shape.
A lot of Android fans, especially ones who have been there from the beginning, will be upset by this change. However, I, someone who has been there since day one with my HTC Dream, think this is a solid move for Google.