The Pixel 6 Pro might still get Face Unlock with a future update, but the Pixel 6 likely won’t
Google’s new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro don’t have Face Unlock, with the in-display fingerprint scanner being the only biometric authentication option on both phones. We have seen multiple rumors and reports that Google originally planned to include Face Unlock on the Pixel 6 series, but decided against it at the last moment. Now a new finding suggests that Google might still bring Face Unlock to the Pixel 6 Pro in a future update.
Folks over at 9to5Google have found some new evidence within the Android 12L Beta update that suggests that Google hasn’t entirely given up on adding Face Unlock support on the Pixel 6 series. The publication has found the following strings in the device Settings app which hint at Pixel phones offering both face and fingerprint as biometric authentication options. Since the Pixel 4 was the only Google phone to offer Face Unlock, we’re speculating that these strings are likely referring to the Pixel 6 series.
<string name=”biometric_settings_use_face_or_fingerprint_preference_summary”>Using face or fingerprint</string>\n<string name=”biometric_settings_use_face_preference_summary”>Using face</string>\n<string name=”biometric_settings_use_fingerprint_preference_summary”>Using fingerprint</string>
Meanwhile, references found within the camera app refer to Face Unlock as an experimental feature for the 2021 Pixel phones.
However, there’s a catch. According to 9to5Google, all evidence of Face Unlock support currently suggests that the feature will only be available on the Pixel 6 Pro. When the publication inspected the same code files on the Pixel 6 running the latest Android 12L Beta, they couldn’t find any such reference on the smaller model. This matches press renders of the Pixel 6 series leaked in October, which only showed the Pixel 6 Pro as having Face Unlock.
It’s not immediately clear why would Google leave out the standard Pixel 6, especially considering that the Pixel 6 Pro doesn’t have any special hardware for Face Unlock. In any case, all evidence so far points that Google is still working on the Face Unlock feature and it could arrive on the Pixel 6 Pro as part of Android 12L or a Pixel Feature Drop.