Google Pixel 6 Pro may still get Face Unlock support with a future software update

In October, Google introduced the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with in-display fingerprint scanners for biometric authentication, but the duo didn’t come with the Face Unlock feature as expected since it wasn’t ready for prime time during the launch event. However, there’s still hope for the Pro version’s owners since Android 12L’s source code includes references to the face recognition feature on the Tensor-powered smartphone.

The strings hint at a Pixel smartphone’s ability to switch between face ID and fingerprint recognition to unlock the smartphone. The only Pixel phones having Face Unlock are the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, which don’t come with a fingerprint scanner, meaning the code refers to a newer device – the Pixel 6 Pro.

Google Pixel 6 Pro with in-display fingerprint scanner

However, the source code also includes references to face authentication being considered an experimental feature on the Pixel 6 lineup, which explains why it’s still unavailable to the users.

That said, irrespective of whether Google decides to bring Face Unlock to the Pixel 6 Pro with Android 12L or a Pixel Feature Drop, the non-Pro model may not get it since the same code files for the Pixel 6 include no references for Face Unlock, which is quite confusing since the Pro variant doesn’t sport any special hardware for face recognition.

Perhaps Google wants to keep Face Unlock exclusive to the bigger Pixel 6, and if that’s the case, then it would be ironic because a few years ago, Google mocked Apple at its launch event by saying they don’t keep the best features for big phones when the latter launched iPhones of different sizes and kept the best features for the bigger model.


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