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Android 13 beta 1 shows face unlock on Pixel 6 Pro, but there's a catch

You still can't use it yet, but face unlock is creeping ever closer to a release.
By
April 27, 2022
Google Pixel 6 Pro front lockscreen lying on concrete
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • The first public Android 13 beta brings face unlock references on the Pixel 6 Pro.
  • These are only references and it’s not possible to actually set up and use face unlock yet.

It seems like the pending arrival of face unlock on the Google Pixel 6 series is one of the industry’s worst-kept secrets, as the tech has been referenced in retailer listings, Google’s own code, and during device setup.

Now, YouTuber M Brandon Lee of This Is Tech Today has reported that the newly released Android 13 beta 1 has references to face unlock on the Pixel 6 Pro. Lee cautions that these are all just splash screens or references found in the settings, and that you can’t actually set up face unlock on the device. Check out his screenshot below.

Lee added that a member of his Discord server also got a face unlock reference to show up on the Pixel 5, seemingly by searching for “face unlock” in the support section.

This nevertheless adds to a recent 9to5Google claim that face unlock is tentatively scheduled to arrive with the next Pixel feature drop. However, it’s believed that the functionality will be limited to the Pixel 6 Pro.

Many Pixel 6 series users reported a less reliable in-display fingerprint sensor at launch, so face unlock (even if it’s less secure) would make for a solid alternative in some cases. But here’s hoping it comes to the standard Pixel 6 and the Pixel 5 too.