New Android App Unlocks Your Phone At The Sound Of Your Voice
Once again, ease of use trumps security
The Android 5.0 Lollipop already lets you skip the traditional lock screen via Trusted Face, which uses facial recognition to make sure you’re you, or if you’re connected to a Trusted Device, like a specific Bluetooth. Now, Google is adding a new smart lock: Trusted Voice, which uses voice recognition to check your identity.
Trusted Voice has only been rolled out to some Android users. It kicks in when you use an “OK Google” voice command. With it, your voice commands will no longer be blocked by a lock screen. Google is making voice commands a more central part of Android; for example, the Nexus 6 always has voice recognition on.
It’s not yet clear how secure Trusted Voice is. Last month, our writer was able to bypass his bank’s facial recognition security using a video of himself. Similarly, with Trusted Voice, a popup appears when you enable the smart lock, warning that “Someone with a similar voice or a recording of your voice could unlock your device.” It also says that the traditional lock screen is the safer option–proving that the “smart lock” is much more about adding convenience than protecting your information.
Trusted Voice is just the latest in apps that are focused on unlocking your phone rather than locking it. Google has been steadily adding other smart locks since Lollipop launched–there’s Trusted Places, which unlocks when you’re near certain places like work or home, and on-body detection, which keeps the phone unlocked when it’s in your pocket.