Accuracy, battery issues have kept Face unlock from the Pixel 6 Pro


As the story goes, Google was ready to release the Pixel 6 Pro last year with Face unlock pre-installed but decided against it at the last second. After the Pixel 6 series was released and  negative comments about the laggy under-display optical fingerprint scanner started to make the rounds, Pixel 6 Pro users were hoping that Google would be able to push out some implementation of Face unlock.

The Pixel 6 Pro features a Sony image sensor that can generate depth maps needed for secure facial recognition

There had been hope that Pixel 6 Pro users might receive a facial recognition feature with the release of the June Quarterly Feature drop. In fact, with the use of the Sony image sensor employed on the Pixel 6 Pro, depth maps could be created allowing Google to add a secure Face unlock feature to the Pixel 6 Pro via a simple software update. But alas, the June Quarterly Feature drop came and went without any mention of an update containing Face unlock.

So is that the end for Pixel 6 Pro users? With the Pixel 7 series probably less than four months away, is there even any reason for those with the phone to hope that the smartphone gods will smile upon them and deliver a facial recognition feature? According to  9to5Google, it seems that while the Face unlock ship has sailed for the Pixel 6 Pro, Google is reportedly still working on the biometric feature.
We hate to bring up a little tidbit of good news because it probably means nothing, but 9to5Google discovered a change in the Pixel 6 Feature Drop called “FACE_UNLOCK_BOOST — which would boost the performance of the phone’s CPU for one second when Face unlock was active, most likely to help the Tensor chip provide the facial recognition system with the power needed to make Face unlock work.
While the Pixel 7 Pro might be released with Face unlock, the last bit of hope that Pixel 6 Pro users can cling to is the hope that if Google releases the 2022 premium Pixel phone with facial recognition, the feature can still be added to the Pixel 6 Pro. Currently, though, the concerns that Google has involve the Pixel 6 Pro battery draining too rapidly because of Face unlock, and the less than stellar accuracy apparently seen during testing.

The hope that the Pixel 6 Pro would get a facial recognition system probably would have never hit the heights that it did had Google used a better fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6 line. We’ve already seen the upcoming Pixel 6a fingerprint scanner in action and it is an improvement from the scanner found on the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. If you own one of the latter two models, this should get you agitated (I do and it does!).

Do this one simple thing and your Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro fingerprint scanners might show some improvement

But here is a solution that is simple and it might help a little. If you haven’t redone your fingerprints since the release of the June Quarterly Feature drop, enter them again. The June update supposedly improved the capabilities of the Pixel 6 series’ fingerprint sensor and by re-entering your fingerprints from scratch, you might be more likely to take advantage of any improvement made by Google.

To do this, go to Settings > Security > Fingerprint Unlock. You might want to delete and replace two to three fingerprints with new settings. See if that helps.

What is aggravating about this whole thing is that the fingerprint scanner on the back of my Pixel 2 XL was about as perfect as could be and others have said the same thing about the biometric reader on the Pixel 5 (a). We understand that the under-display scanner looks cool and modern. But Google,  if you’re going to fix something that ain’t broke, try to make it better, not worse.

Take advantage of Verizon’s Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro deal

And while Google Pixel 6 Pro users may have lost all hope of seeing Face unlock show up on their phone, there is still a tiny bit of hope that the release of the Pixel 7 series results in some update that is pushed out to the Pixel 6 Pro. In the mean time, let us know if redoing your fingerprints results in any improvement on your 2021 Pixel device.





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