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Articles Tagged:

unlock

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Pixel 3 drops support for Voice Match unlocking

For a while now, you've been able to set up what Google calls Voice Match with the Google Assistant. It recognizes your voice and gives you personalized results, both on smart speakers and smartphones. It would also let you unlock phones to perform actions like making phone calls and sending text messages just by saying "okay, Google" — but that feature isn't available on the Pixel 3.

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Android P DP1 is breaking the 'OEM Unlock' toggle for some, but there's an easy fix

After the Android P DP1 hit, a few people reported running into difficulty unlocking their bootloader if it wasn't already prior to flashing the developer preview. Turns out, there is a fix, and you don't have to wipe your device. Simply disabling whatever lockscreen security setting you might have is enough to fix things. 

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Partial iris scanner support in progress for future Android version

Even though face unlock has been a part of Android since Ice Cream Sandwich, several Android manufacturers have been working on improved versions over the past year, mostly in response to the iPhone X. The ill-fated Note7 had an iris scanning feature, the OnePlus 5T includes face unlock, and the Galaxy S9 has a hybrid of the two features. Starting with the next Android release, it might be easier for OEMs to add iris scanning to their devices.

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[Update: No longer possible] Verizon Pixel 2 bootloader can be unlocked via a simple fastboot command

The biggest disadvantage to picking up the smaller Pixel 2 on Verizon's network is the locked bootloader. Big Red dictates that the phones it sells have to be locked down tight. That's a problem if you're into ROMs or if you'd like to root without an exploit. However, the folks over in the XDA forums have discovered a trivially simple way of unlocking the bootloader which is every bit as easy as the typical method for non-carrier locked Pixel 2 phones. 

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Android 8.1 may have made the Pixel 2 XL's fingerprint unlock slower for some

Have you noticed that it takes just a bit longer to unlock your Pixel 2 XL when you use the fingerprint reader? If so, you aren't alone. In the last few weeks since the update, there have been multiple reports that the Pixel 2 XL takes about a second longer to unlock the device when using the fingerprint reader. The good news is that Google is looking into it. 

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Bootloader unlocking appears to be disabled on some Pixel 2 phones purchased from Google [Update: Fixed]

Many people, like myself, look at Google's phones for one specific reason: they have an easily unlocked bootloader. That means when software support runs dry, or you get the itch to root/ROM, you can modify things without having to compound any potential security concerns with additional issues like exploits or undocumented software. If that's your motivation too, this news could be a small concern. Some Pixel 2s purchased directly from Google seem to have locked-down bootloaders. 

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OneNote adds fingerprint security and the ability to create password protected sections

Microsoft's services can be hit or miss, but when it comes to OneNote, it's most certainly a hit. The note-taking application has been, quite deservedly, at the top of most productivity lists for a long time. And a recent update to the Android app has made it even easier to keep your notes secure, too. Now you can add passwords and use your fingerprint to unlock sections. 

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Android Oreo feature spotlight: Rollback Protection, a new part of Verified Boot, won't allow you to start a downgraded OS

This flew under our radar back at I/O, but it's big news. On compatible devices, the new Verified Boot changes in Android 8.0 Oreo will prevent a device from booting should it be rolled back to an earlier firmware. The new feature is called Rollback Protection. So if your phone is flashed with older software, you (and your data) are protected from whatever potential security vulnerabilities may have been present in earlier versions. 

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Now you can unlock your Windows 10 computer with your phone via Samsung Flow

Over the last week Samsung has updated their Samsung Flow app on Google Play and the Windows Store to work with more devices and to support a new authentication method. It might sound uninteresting, but it means that your Samsung phone can now unlock your Windows 10 device. At least, when using the corresponding app for both Android and Windows 10. So even if your computer doesn't have a fingerprint reader, you can now use the one on your phone to unlock it.

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Locked phones and unlocking fees will be banned in Canada starting December 1st

Here in the US, unlocking policies are pretty lackluster. Sure, they've improved over time, but these regulations still aren't something we can be proud of. But up in the Great White North, the CRTC (Canada's telecom commission) is hard at work. Starting on December 1st, 2017, all mobile devices will have the capability of being unlocked for free, and all new devices will be unlocked out of the box.

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