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Five ways to unlock your smartphone conveniently

LiveMint logoLiveMint 06-07-2017 Abhijit Ahaskar

Punching a password or drawing a pattern are some of the commonly used methods used to unlock a smartphone. These are often time consuming and run the risk of a prying bystander finding out. There are various other convenient and secure ways in which you can unlock your smartphone. We take a look at some of them:

Fingerprint sensor

Life became a lot easier with the coming of fingerprint sensor technology in smartphones. It was used first by Apple in the iPhone 5 and is now available in Android smartphones selling under Rs10,000. Fingerprints are unique and a smartphone configured with a particular fingerprint can only be unlocked with the same finger. It’s secure and most importantly it can take you to the home screen in a matter of seconds. To activate it, go to Settings->Lockscreen->Add fingerprint.

Voice unlock

Not many know that they can unlock their smartphone by saying ‘OK Google’ or any other word/phrase they want to use as a code. The feature works by saving a user’s voice on the phone and when the user says the code out loud, the phone will match the audio to unlock the screen. It is a very convenient approach, especially when your hands are occupied with eating or driving. To activate it go to Settings->Lockscreen-> Smart Lock->Trusted Voice in any smartphone with plain Android interface.

Unlock with Bluetooth device

The other cool way of unlocking your smartphone is by bringing it closer to a trusted device such as a smart watch or car’s Bluetooth system. This only works if the Bluetooth on your smartphone is already switched on. This feature is again more about convenience rather than security. To activate it, got to Settings->Security or lockscreen (depending on what smartphone you use) and add the Bluetooth device to the list of Trusted devices.

Iris scanner

Iris scanner is one of the most secure biometric tools, as the iris pattern is unique in very person just like the fingerprint. The tech was introduced in smartphones by Microsoft in the Lumia 950 and 950XL smartphones in 2015, but wasn’t a big hit with Android rivals. It is available in smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, TCL 560 and LYF Earth 2 and is expected in Nokia 9 and Asus ZenFone AR.

Location-based unlocking

This is another born-out-of-convenience feature which can unlock your smartphone the moment you enter a specific location. It is available on all Android smartphones running plain Android and can be accessed in Settings-> Security->Smart lock-> Trusted Places. You can specify the area on the map where you want the smartphone to be unlocked automatically. The only risk with this is that anyone in the same location can access your smartphone too.

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