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Google Smart Unlock won’t be replaced by Wear OS Watch Unlock


Last updated: January 23rd, 2023 at 11:35 UTC+01:00

Android comes with many handy features, one of which is Smart Unlock. It allows you to keep your smartphone unlocked when you have connected it to a Bluetooth accessory and have it with you at a trusted location. The security of the Smart Unlock comes into question when you use it with a smartwatch, as it keeps the smartphone unlocked even though you aren’t wearing it.

To fix this, Google demoed the Wear OS Watch Unlock feature at CES 2023. However, new information coming in from folks at 9To5Google reveals that Wear OS Watch Unlock won’t replace Smart Unlock. In fact, Smart Unlock will be sticking around under the name “Extend Unlock.” Strings found in the latest Google Play services version 23.03.13, show Watch Unlock as an upgrade over Smart Lock (Trusted devices).

Also, it is learned that Smart Unlock will be rebranded as Extend Unlock and will remain available. It is surprising to see Google’s intent to keep Smart Unlock even after demoing Watch Unlock

Apparently, Wear OS Watch Unlock will unlock the Android phone or tablet when a connected Wear OS 3.0 device is brought near it. This will work for Samsung Chromebooks and other Chromebooks as well. The wearable has to be unlocked, and you will get an on-watch confirmation that auto-unlock was initiated. You will be able to quickly lock the phone as well. Your watch will show that your phone was “Unlocked by Watch.”

It is noted that in order to use the feature, your smartphone or tablet needs to be running Android 13. Moreover, users can set up the option by heading to Settings » Security & privacy » More security settings. Watch Unlock will appear under Smart Unlock, and you need to select your wearable from the list.

General Android 13ChromebookGoogleWear OSWear OS 3
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