Pixel 6 Pro could receive Face Unlock support after all, thanks to Android 12L

Pixel 6 Pro could receive Face Unlock support after all, thanks to Android 12L
The beta version of Android 12L (the version meant for phones with larger screens) has a hint inside its code indicating that Face Unlock might be coming to the Pixel 6 Pro. Notice, however, that it is just the Pro model, which could get this biometric unlocking feature.

Ever since the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, Google has stayed away from adding Face Unlock to its phones. Maybe it was to cut costs, or because it wasn’t deemed a safe enough method, or the tech giant did not think it was worth the resources. Whatever the case, the Pixel 6 series was expected to be the generation to introduce this feature back to Google's Pixel lineup, but alas, it did not.

The folks at 9to5Google stumbled upon some lines in the Android 12L beta code, indicating that Google has not given up yet on adding Face Unlock to the Pixel 6, at least the pro version. Some of the code for the Settings app hints that Pixels can switch between using fingerprint or face recognition for unlocking the phone.

An explanation as to why the Pixel 6 Pro was missing Face Unlock on launch day could lie in the Android 12L camera software. The code in that section of the operating system shows signs that the feature was, and still is, in “experimental” mode.

It is unclear why Google is experiencing difficulty introducing the ability to unlock your phone by looking at it. It could be because a more advanced version of Face Unlock is in the works, powered by the new Tensor chip. Maybe something that approaches the capabilities of Apple’s Face ID.

Google could introduce the “new” feature via a Pixel Feature Drop in the future, but it is also possible that we might not get that until the next generation arrives. Whatever the case, the regular $599 Pixel 6 is unlikely to get Face Unlock. That likely would not be because of any hardware limitations, though, as there are no parts that should make it difficult.

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