What Is Android Smart Lock?
Android Smart Lock first hit devices with Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Smart Lock feature allows you to specify certain circumstances where the device’s lock screen security will remain off.
You can enable and configure these options by heading to Settings > Security > Smart Lock (this may differ slightly depending on your device). Enter your PIN, then you can select the Smart Lock option you want.
It’s possible to use multiple Smart Lock methods in conjunction, too. Here’s how they work.
With this option, after unlocking it once, your Android device will remain unlocked as long as it detects motion, such as you holding or carrying the device. Your phone will lock automatically again when put down.
On-body detection poses some security issues. The lock mechanism doesn’t always activate immediately after you put the device down. Furthermore, it can sometimes take longer if you are in a car, train, bus, or other forms of transportation.
Use this option and your Android device will remain unlocked while in the vicinity of a specific location. Once you enable Trusted Places, your device will detect its location using GPS. If the signal shows you are within the range of a specified location, it will unlock.
There are three Trusted Places modes:
- High Accuracy: Uses your phone’s GPS, Wi-Fi connection, provider network, and more to maintain an accurate location.
- Battery Saving: Trusted Places will use less power-intensive location tracking tools, such as your Wi-Fi connection or mobile network.
- Device Only: Uses only GPS to update the location of your device.
Trusted Places is a handy unlocking tool. Like the other options, though, it has limitations. For example, if you live in an apartment building, Trusted Places finds it extremely difficult to differentiate between your apartment and your neighbors’ residences. Since the GPS location is almost the same and the range for the unlocking can cover multiple apartments, your device might stay unlocked outside your home.
Although Trusted Places can take your Wi-Fi connection into account, you cannot tell your phone to stay unlocked when it connects to a certain network. However, there are workarounds for this that allow you to unlock your phone when connected to a Wi-Fi network. We’ll cover more on these in a moment.
You can keep your Android device unlocked if it has a connection to a separate trusted device. For example, you could set your smartwatch, in-car Bluetooth speakers, or fitness tracker as a trusted device. Then, while the two devices share a connection, the Android phone will remain unlocked.
Trusted Devices uses a Bluetooth connection to check Smart Lock status. If the Bluetooth connection between your devices drops for any reason, Smart Lock will disable, and your device will lock.
On certain Android devices, if you use Google Assistant, you can use the Voice Match option to keep your Android phone unlocked. Smart Lock recognizes the tone and inflections of your voice to create a unique unlocking tool.
How to Unlock Your Phone When Connected to Wi-Fi
One glaring Android Smart Lock omission is the option to keep your device unlocked when you connect to a specific Wi-Fi network. You can work around this issue with the Automate app; here’s how to keep your Android device unlocked when connected to Wi-Fi.
Automate is a user-friendly Android automation app. You can it for our intended purpose of staying unlocked on Wi-Fi. First, download the Automate app.
Now, open Automate. Given the nature of the service (it automates everything on your device), you must accept the permissions.
Select More Flows from the options, then search for disable screen lock on home wifi. The version you want is the creation of user p s, as you can see in the below image. Select Download, then head back to the Automate homepage.
Next, select the Disable screen lock on home wifi flow from the list, tap the blue pen icon in the bottom-right, then hit the circuits icon just above. This opens the Automate flow edit screen.
Tap the third box on the left, When Wi-Fi connected. Input the Wi-Fi network’s SSID in the box. Alternatively, select Pick Network, then select the Wi-Fi network from the list.
Now, you can Start the Automate flow, and your device will remain unlocked while connected to the Wi-Fi network you specified.
If there’s another Wi-Fi network you want to stay unlocked on, you can duplicate the Automate flow by tapping the three-dot menu and selecting Duplicate. Then in the duplicated flow, switch out the Wi-Fi network SSID for another one.