Google Pixel 4 (XL): the next update focuses on security
On the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, Google has decided to completely dispose of the fingerprint reader. On both smartphones, there is an unlocking system that uses facial recognition that can be used even with closed eyes. After some complaints from several reviewers and users, Google has confirmed the arrival of an update to solve the problem. This is what will change on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL and how you should protect your data before the update arrives.
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Pixel 4 (XL): software updates
|Android 10||Android 11|
|Pixel 4 (XL)||Yes (factory)||-|
Pixel 4 (XL) software updates coming soon
The face recognition system implemented in the new Pixel phones has been announced by Google as one of the main new features. The possibility of unlocking the Pixel 4 and 4 XL with eyes closed, however, has not been well received by several users and reviewers who, on the contrary, consider it a security flaw. It allows you to unlock the two smartphones and thus access the contents of them even if the owner is asleep, for example.
The Pixel 4 facial recognition works even if you're asleep / dead. That seems problematic #madebygoogle #pixel4— Chris Fox (@thisisFoxx) October 15, 2019
Google was already aware of this possibility and in fact, even specifies it in the screen that appears when you activate this unlocking mode on your smartphone. This means that for Google the facial recognition system is not presented as an unlocking method that focuses on security but rather on practicality. For users, however, security is important and Google has therefore decided to solve the problem:
We've been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months. In the meantime, if any Pixel 4 users are concerned that someone may take their phone and try to unlock it while their eyes are closed, they can activate a security feature that requires a pin, pattern or password for the next unlock.
To reassure users about the security of this system, Google adds:
Pixel 4 face unlock meets the security requirements as a strong biometric, and can be used for payments and app authentication, including banking apps. It is resilient against invalid unlock attempts via other means, like with masks.
For now, therefore, all owners of Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL worried about the security of their devices can use an alternative unlocking system. The update will arrive but in a few months, so we will therefore have to wait.
How do I check for a new update?
To check for a new update on your Pixel smartphone, you will need to:
- Accessing Settings
- Click on System > System Update
- Select Check for updates and wait a few seconds
- If a new update is present, proceed with the installation
Source: Android Central
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