Updated 01:46 PM EDT, Wed, Sep 22, 2021

What is Google's 'On-Body' Unlocking Feature Coming to Some Android 5.0 Lollipop Devices?

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There has been rampant interest on Google's slow roll-out of another Android feature dubbed "On-Body" detection.

Imagine yourself shopping at the mall and you place your smartphone on flat surface to reach out to a product you want to check out.

After looking through several products you slide a hand through your pocket -- only to realize that your phone is no longer there.

In the meantime, a stranger who spots and snatches your unattended phone but unaware of Google's "On-Body" feature finds your device "broken" and dismisses claiming it nevertheless.

"On-Body" Detection Feature, Explained

In simplest terms, it allows smartphones to lock themselves when they sense that their owners have either left their spot or are not needing it on the particular moment via the accelerometer sensors. Note however, that the feature will not be able to distinguish whether it's the owners or someone else's hands are holding the device. 

According to SlashGear, "On-Body" detection comes to "certain" Android 5.0 Lollipop devices and up. The feature's purpose, as told by the outlet, is to free the user from repeated unlocking as long as the device stays proximal.

So how is the smartphone locked? Well, that happens when one sets the device down, CNET reported. Thieves trailing behind a target device "that's been left behind, dropped or set aside temporarily" may not have instant access just yet. This is seen in the example above.

When the device has been locked and no other authentication factors are set, the user is required to manually unlock it, Android Police wrote.

Will Stolen Phones Return?

While the biometric security feature seems to address theft, it doesn't mean a stolen smartphone is guaranteed to return. Instead, it protects the user's data in the event of such loss. The technology behind such feature lies in accelerometer sensors.

For a clearer picture, PCMag cited an example, "That is, if you hold your phone and immediately pass it off to another person (or someone swipes it out of your hand as you're using it), your smartphone will remain unlocked."

What do you think of Google's buzzed Android feature? Would you like to own such for your device? What security apps do you trust?

Sound off in the comments section.

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