The Watch Unlock feature, which allows you to unlock a smartphone with your watch, is coming to Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 5 watches
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro // Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid
Last June, we found out that Google was preparing an automatic unlocking feature for smartphones by simply connecting to a connected watch running Wear OS. Although a user was able to discover the screen corresponding to this functionality on a Pixel smartphone two months later, there was still no news of its launch.
Finally, the Watch Unlock feature should be coming soon, thanks to an update for the first time to Wear OS watches. As the specialist site 9to5Google reports, researcher Mishaal Rahman has actually shared on Twitter certain features that are expected for the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro with their update to One UI 5 Watch.
A UI Watch 5 based on Android 13 is rolling out for the Galaxy Watch 5 and as I suspected, the build declares the feature https://t.co/izeCCqNhVF_unlock. Active Unlock is the name of the API underlying the upcoming Watch Unlock feature.
– Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 31, 2023
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“As I suspected, the update cites the com.google.android.clockwork.active function. “Active Unlock” is the name of the API behind the future Watch Unlock function,” explains the researcher. Specifically, the proposed update for last year’s Samsung watches is intended to make them compatible with the automatic unlocking of the smartphone when it is connected to the connected watch via Bluetooth.
A feature expected in the coming weeks
We didn’t yet know which watches could use this functionality. Google has held a few demonstrations in the past, but they were limited to its own connected watch, the first Pixel Watch. Finally, it appears that watch unlocking might also be possible on other watches running Wear OS. We are of course thinking of watches from Samsung, but possibly also those from TicWatch, Fossil or the future Pixel Watch 2, which is expected at the beginning of October.
As a reminder, watch unlocking allows users to forgo the unlock pattern, PIN code, facial recognition, or fingerprint reader when using the smartphone near a compatible connected watch. We are now expecting a deployment in the coming weeks.
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