It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for people who were hoping for face unlock on the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro. We’ve seen hints of the functionality on startup screens, print ads, and in Android’s code giving us hope that the feature is on the way. However, according to 9To5Google, it seems that the Pixel 6 Pro was originally supposed to have face unlock, but Google nixed it at the last minute.
There are several sources close to the matter that came out and confirmed this with 9To5Google. Not only was Google going to make the feature available, but it was only going to be for the Pro model. A few months back, face unlock was referenced in the code for a Pixel 6 Pro that wasn’t present in a Pixel 6.
Also, a Reddit user bought a Pixel 6 Pro and, while setting it up, saw face unlock as one of the unlock options. Upon setting up the phone, they found the option missing from the settings. There could have been a small software bug that caused that to pop up. This means that the option still lies buried in the code, but Google disabled it.
We don’t know if the Pixel 6 Pro will get face unlock
Right now, it’s hard to tell if this phone will ever get the feature. It’s something that people have been wanting for a while. This was especially true when the Pixel 6 phones had issues with the in-display fingerprint scanner. It would have been nice having an alternative to the fingerprint scanner during its growing pains.
It’s a bit weird how Google handled this face unlock for its Pixel phones as of late. The Pixel 4 had dedicated hardware for the face unlock. There was a dedicated IR camera up top that would scan your face. However, with the Pixel 5, the landscape changed to accommodate a punch-hole up top. This replaced the rack of sensors housed in a bezel.
With the Pixel 6 Pro, all of the work was going to be done with the front-facing camera. Similar to past Nexus devices, it would use the light data to scan your face. It’s less secure than Apple’s implementation, but at least the option was available. With how much people are pining after this feature, hopefully, Google will either bring the feature back to the Pixel 6 Pro or future Pixel phones.