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Google Tweaks 'Ok Google' Capabilities to Boost Security on Locked Android Phones

Google Tweaks 'Ok Google' Capabilities to Boost Security on Locked Android Phones

Ok Google voice command to unlock Android smartphones is being removed

  • Unlock with voice match is also being curtailed
  • Earlier, Ok Google would unlock the Android phones
  • Pixel XL has already lost the feature with latest Google app update

Google is looking to make Android smartphones safer. To that end, the Mountain View company is getting rid of the ability to unlock your Android phone with Voice Match and the "Ok Google" command in a new update to the Google app further securing the system. The search-engine giant has decided to limit the "Voice Match" unlock feature to only launch the Assistant interface on the lock screen instead of unlocking the Android device on the basis of voice match. Moto Z and Pixel XL devices had already lost the functionality with the Google app's 9.27 update.

With the 9.31 update, other devices that still had continued to have full voice unlocking powers, will also lose it, Engadget reported on Friday.

Previously, with an "Ok Google" command and question, the device would unlock the screen to the app concerned.

From here on users will have to unlock their devices to go beyond just personal results like Google Calendar, email, reminders and shopping lists.

Google had already chosen not to include the "Unlock with Voice Match" feature when it launched the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

At CES 2019, the company announced just days ago that it would also be doing away with the feature on all Android devices, the report said.

This step would safeguard phones from anybody, who could try to barge into the device on the basis of a similar voice or a recording of the user's own voice.

For Google's phone and tablet users, this will mean both a loss of functionality and a significant gain in terms of security, the report noted.


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