In a day and age where we all have countless little bits of personal information stored on our smartphones and tablets that we just don’t want to get out into the open, security has never been so important. To that end most of us have at least one layer of security on our devices, with PIN codes being the simplest. The problem with PINs is that people get sick of inputting them, even if they’re just the standard 4 digits long.
Android 5.0 helps to alleviate that by using trusted devices and location as a way of bypassing PINs; the feature is called ‘Smart Lock’. If you have an Android phone paired with an Android Wear watch for example, software can note the relative prolixity of the pair and turn off that first layer of security. Move away from the watch and it gets turned back on. The same thing happens with location as well. If you’re near a pre-defined location, such as your home, then Android 5.0 Lollipop won’t ask for your PIN code to be entered and you dive straight into your home screen.
The problem is that not a lot of people have Android 5.0. Thankfully, an app called Smart Unlock can do the same thing and it only needs Android 4.0 and above in order to work.
The premise is exactly the same as the official Android 5.0 implementation. Pair a Bluetooth device with another and it disables security settings. That could be a watch, Google Glass or even a car. And it works with location too, just like how it does on Android Lollipop. Smart Unlock also takes things further by allowing known Wi-Fi networks to be used as safe zones, which is great because it means that you don’t have to have a fancy smartwatch or headset in order to make all of this work. NFC can also be used as part of the recipe too, should you have a few tokens laying around.
Smart Unlock can be downloaded now and costs just a dollar. It doesn’t need root access but will ask to be a device administrator, so there’s that to be aware of. There is a free trial that you can play around with too, but after seven days you’ll be prompted to upgrade to the full version.
But for a dollar, why wouldn’t you want to anyway?
While you’re at it, be sure to give Delayed Lock a shot too, it has a different set of features and that might float your boat rather than Smart Unlock.
(Download: Smart Unlock for Android on the Play Store)
Make sure to check out our Android Apps gallery to explore more apps for your Android device.