With the Pixel 5, it was clear that Google was turning a blind eye to Pixel 4 buyers. More than two years after the launch of the Pixel 4, there is a reason for hope again. For that, we have to take a quick look into the past, when Google offered Face Unlock again with the Pixel 4 long after the Nexus series. However, only this one smartphone generation, caused a big problem.
The unlocking method, which was unusual for Pixel smartphones up to this point, was only accepted by a few apps. Only a few app developers used the new biometric interfaces because demand was relatively low. When it became clear that Face-Unlock was no longer an issue at Google, there were even fewer incentives for developers.
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There was no push from Google in this direction. Pixel 4 buyers were left with devices that required them to PIN unlock many apps. The Pixel 4 does not have a significantly broader supported fingerprint sensor.
Face unlock is coming back, someday anyway
However, since Google is now working on a new variant for face unlock, this could also bring an upswing among app developers. Google will want to push its interfaces more again, and users of older Pixel smartphones could also benefit from this. In particular, the remaining users of the Pixel 4 smartphones with Motion Sense.
For the future, Google seems to have a clear line. The fingerprint sensor remains the key point for biometric unlocking of the Pixel phones, and face unlock is a slightly less secure option via the front camera. The plan is to reintroduce the pure software version of Face-Unlock, initially for the Google Pixel 6 Pro.