Locking your smartphone is important for security purposes, especially when you’re out and about, but it can be annoying when your device hasn’t even left your hands or pocket but still needs to be unlocked. That’s why Google is rolling out a new feature to Android users that detects whether or not you’re in possession of your smartphone. If you are, then the device remains unlocked, if you’re not, then it will automatically lock itself.
Google appears to be slowly rolling out a new feature for some Android users that allows the phone to lock itself when it senses that it’s no longer near its owner. Presumably, the feature is designed for the many, many people who play with their phone, put it down on the table in their favorite coffee shop, go to grab their beverage, and find that said phone has been pilfered by an unpleasant person. While that still means that your smartphone is gone, at least your data is presumably protected by your lock screen for casual thieves. (Ideally, a thief would notice your locked device and not even bother with it to begin with.) According to screenshots, the new on-body detection mode—as its known—”uses your device’s accelerometer to detect whether your device is still being carried on the body.” “If your device detects that it’s no longer being held, your device won’t stay unlocked,” reads Google’s note.