One of the headlining new features Apple is touting with the announcement of the iPhone X is the facial recognition tech used to unlock the handset. If you’re an Android user and you’re jealous of this feature, you shouldn’t be. While it’s not nearly as advanced (or secure) as the Face ID feature built-in to the iPhone X, Android has had facial recognition technology for some time now…

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On Android, the feature is called “Trusted face” and it was introduced within Smart lock with the release of Android Lollipop. While it isn’t as precise as Apple’s Face ID — as the iPhone X uses specialized hardware to map the user’s face, not to mention machine learning models — Trusted face does do a semi-reliable job at unlocking when it sees the owner’s face and no one else’s.

Below you will find the quick steps on how to set up Trusted face, improve its accuracy, and remove it once you’re done using the feature.

How to set up Trusted Face

  1. Go to your device’s Settings menu
  2. Locate and enter Security (on Android Oreo it’s Security & Location)
  3. Tap on Smart Lock under the Device security subheading
  4. Enter your password, PIN, or pattern to confirm your ownership of the device
  5. Select Trusted face
  6. The UI will explain what Trusted face is, how it works, and tips on correctly setting up your Trusted face
  7. Hold your device level with your face and position yourself so that your entire face is fully lit and inside of the on-screen circle
  8. Keep your device still for several seconds until your face has been fully recognized and saved
  9. You can now unlock your Android device with facial recognition

How to improve facial recognition

  1. Go to your device’s Settings menu
  2. Locate and enter Security (on Android Oreo it’s Security & Location)
  3. Tap on Smart Lock under the Device security subheading
  4. Enter your password, PIN, or pattern to confirm your ownership of the device
  5. Select Trusted face
  6. Tap on Improve face matching
  7. The UI will explain that you should be in different lighting than you were in when initially setting up Trusted face and modify your appearance slightly with glasses, hair style, or facial hair
  8. Hold your device level with your face and position yourself so that your entire face is fully lit and inside of the on-screen circle
  9. Keep your device still for several seconds until your face has been fully recognized and saved
  10. Your Android device should now better recognize you and hopefully unlock faster

How to remove Trusted face

  1. Go to your device’s Settings menu
  2. Locate and enter Security (on Android Oreo it’s Security & Location)
  3. Tap on Smart Lock under the Device security subheading
  4. Enter your password, PIN, or pattern to confirm your ownership of the device
  5. Select Trusted face
  6. Tap on Remove trusted face
  7. A pop-up will ask if you really do want to remove Trusted face. If so, tap on Remove

As mentioned, the feature isn’t going to keep all of the worst intruders out. It can probably somewhat easily be duped using a printed image or a 3D model — things that Apple went out of their way to make sure Face ID could resist since it replaces Touch ID. But if you just want an easy way to unlock your phone without a fingerprint, this might be a worthwhile option.


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