Android phones may soon be able to unlock Chrome OS

by: Shawn IngramDecember 13, 2013

chrome os voice commands Francois Beaufort

Chrome OS users may eventually be able to lock and unlock their Chromebooks with their phone or any number of accessories.

A new Chrome API found in a recent build of Chromium OS called “chrome.screenlockPrivate” seems to hint at a future feature of the operating system. The description of the API in the Chromium code review simply states “The chrome.screenlockPrivate API allows select apps to control the ChromeOS ScreenLocker.” There is a Google Doc linked in the description that reveals a few more details.

The Google Doc mentions a feature that will let users lock and unlock their screen using USB, NFC, or Bluetooth. Users would be able to unlock their Chromebook with a “phone, ring, watch, or badge.” Doing so will eliminate the need for a password, though presumably the option for a password will still exist in case users aren’t near their trusted device for any reason.

The API sounds very similar to the trusted devices feature of Android smartphones that lets users bypass the lock screen of their smartphone as long as the trusted device is connected to the phone. For phones a smartwatch like the Pebble makes perfect sense for the feature because it’s something you’ll probably always have on your person. For Chromebooks the natural companion could be your phone, because you probably always have your phone available.

As the open-source version of Chrome OS, Chromium OS is where features often get tested before they make it to the consumer version of the OS. This new screen unlock feature may make it to Chrome OS sometime in the future, but there’s no telling when that may be.

Would you use such a feature if it existed in Chrome OS or any other desktop OS?

  • Androidway

    I wouldn’t want this. I don’t like Chrome OS much.

    • Brandon Jiang

      so dont use a chromebook.

      • Farbod

        I guess he doesn’t already. I don’t know why his comment got so many dislikes just for stating his valid and reasonable opinion.

        • AndroidBoss

          Ikr, I never even had a Chromebook. I seen the interface etc. and it needs a lot of work and updates.

        • needa

          i down voted. i feel like if this feature was implemented on any other pc platform…. he would love it.

        • Brandon Jiang

          well he just said he has seen the interface and for that reason doesn’t really like Chrome OS. I didn’t downvote before but I will now for sheer ignorance. he should try it out before judging it

      • AndroidBoss

        I don’t use Chromebooks.

        • Brandon Jiang

          then why does this matter…? just don’t use a chromebook and you won’t have to worry about this “feature”

          • TjaldidTjaldid

            just seems like they are pulling resources away from android

  • AbbyZFresh

    Looks like the merge of Android and Chrome OS as Google intends is about to take off. SLOWLY.

  • so the nymi may will work with Chromebooks in the Future :)

  • Hugo Oskarsson

    If google made an OS that looks like this, but with support for programs like spotify and steam, i’d get it immediatly, fuck windows

    • z Simmons

      Many already extant traditional Linux OS’s pretty much meet your criteria (albeit not looking exactly like this…). You can get Steam on them (not with all the games available for Windows available for Linux, of course, but the number of games available is growing, with more AAA games to come, thanks to Valve pushing Steam OS), you can get a Spotify preview (which only works for Premium users, I understand) (or full Spotify for Windows by fiddiling around with Wine). In addition, you also get access to many other offline apps. See, for example, Linux Deepin, Elementary OS, and Linux Mint.

    • CAC1031

      What wrong with the web version of spotify? I use it all the time on my Chromebook.