Google fixes Pixel 4 face unlock awareness with April security patch

Google has started rolling out its April 2020 security patch to Pixel phone owners dating back to the Pixel 2. The update fixes some Bluetooth issues pegging users, and it also enhances the security and stability of each phone that the update ships to. But as discovered by users of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL (myself included), Google has also enabled a long desired feature pertaining to face unlock.

When the Pixel 4 and 4 XL started shipping, it was discovered that, unlike the iPhone, in order to unlock a Pixel using face unlock, your eyes could be either open or closed. This caused a good amount of concern among the tech community, including those who felt anxious about people unlocking their phones while they were sleeping. Thankfully, however, Google is now rolling out a toggle that, when flicked on, forces your Pixel 4 to check and see if your eyes are open before attempting to unlock your phone.

I tried out the feature briefly and it works as advertised. You have to have your eyes open before your Pixel 4 will identify your face. Unfortunately, there’s still one security hole: you only need to have one eye open to unlock. With my iPhone XS, closing one eye will cause Face ID to fail. Perhaps Google will improve its attention awareness in a future update.

The April security patch is rolling out now for all compatible Pixel phone owners.