The Pixel 4 is a flawed, but pretty spectacular device – it has a gorgeous 90Hz display and a camera system that easily takes some of the best shots on a smartphone, period.
But the Google handset isn’t without its problems, one of the biggest of which is certainly the fact its facial unlocking system will work, even if a user’s eyes are shut.
In theory, that means if you’ve drifted off to sleep, someone could grab your Pixel 4, point it at your face and gain full access to your device. That’s not ideal, particularly when Apple’s iPhone and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro – that also offer 3D facial recognition – require the user’s eyes to be open.
It didn’t seem like this would be an issue for the Pixel 4, particularly as an early leak of the device from NextRift showed a toggle within the phone’s settings menu requiring a user’s eyes to be open for its unlocking to work.
However, the feature showed by NextRift never appeared in retail units of the Pixel 4 and is still nowhere to be seen, despite Google issuing the handset with a swathe of new updates.
However, as noted by Android Police, it seems an option aptly titled “require eyes to be open” has appeared in the settings menu of the Pixel 4.
READ MORE: Google Pixel 4 review: So near, yet so far
The Pixel 4 is a flawed, but pretty spectacular device
Android Police spotted the new option in the Pixel 4’s settings menu
It’s currently unclear when Google will release the extra layer of security for the Pixel 4
Unfortunately, the outlet noted the feature is unable to switched on at this point, but its emergence is certainly encouraging.
Searching for the word “eyes” in the Pixel 4’s settings menu displays the feature, however clicking it on it takes you facial recognition menu where the option is notably absent.
Following the release of the Pixel 4 and the discovery that its facial unlocking system worked even if a user’s eyes were shut, Google confirmed it was working on a new feature that would require eyes to be open.
READ MORE: Huawei Mate 30 Pro review: Infinitely better than it has any right to be
Back in October, the American tech giant said: “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. 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.”
It’s currently unclear when Google will release the extra layer of security for the Pixel 4’s facial unlocking system. But of course, Express.co.uk will let you know the moment it does.