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Proximity Based “Easy Unlock” Now Working for Some Chrome OS, Android L Users

If you’re using the Android L Preview on a modern mobile handsets and have a Chromebook running the latest dev or beta channel release, you may find Chrome OS’s new “Easy Unlock” feature is available to try.

Google+ user Dan Campbell ticks all of those boxes, and is among one of the first to report success in both pairing up and using the new proximity-based login feature. He’s even posted some screenshots to prove it.

easy unlock sign in screen chrome os

android l easy unlock

Easy Unlock Notification in Android 5.0

What’s Easy Unlock, Again?

Easy Unlock does what it claims to and allows for fuss-free sign-in to your Chrome OS device without needing to enter your password. How? Simple by placing your Android phone near it.

The feature is not planned to work with Android tablets, or with smartphones that lack Bluetooth Low Enery (BLT).

Word of the feature first debuted back in April. Since then the user-facing setup features have popped up in Developer Channel releases of Google’s cloud-centric OS numerous times.

Although largely non-functional (until today, it seems) it has undergone numerous revisions in that time, gained a new icon, new dialog text and graphics.

As we alluded to on Twitter a few weeks back, we have been expecting the launch of Android L and Chrome OS v40 (not on Dev) to coincide with the roll out of Easy Unlock on a wider scale.

While Google has yet to formally announce the feature and/or any requirements to use it, Dan Campbell’s success with using it shows that confirmation can’t be long off.

  • sean

    ermegerd that’s hot….

    • Ike

      So hot…Any chance of a Stable relationship?

  • Peter Davies

    So i have to unlock my phone, to save unlocking my Chromebook? I was hoping it would be enough to have the phone somewhere nearby :-(

    • Where did you read this?

      “When enabled, Easy Unlock does what it claims and allows for password-free login to Chrome OS devices simply by placing a paired phone (with Bluetooth enabled) nearby.”

      • Peter Davies

        On the image near the top of the article. It says if your phone is locked, you’ll need to type your password

        • Aaahhh that is right. But maybe, just maybe, here’s what’s going to happen: since the laptop itself will be a way to unlock the phone, the phone will be unlocked, and hence the laptop will be unlocked too… That would work ok!

          • Peter Davies

            Hopefully. I really don’t need a password on my Chromebook but I don’t know a way to disable it. I’ll save 5 seconds every day!

          • You mean… There is no way to disable password at login in a chromebook? Not even autologin on startup? I don’t have one, so I wouldn’t know.

          • There is a way to disable the password on wake from sleep (Google it). But not on cold startup. Then, I just lock my chromebook when needed by holding down the power button for 3 seconds.

          • That’s correct. You just have your phone in range, type in your pin or swipe your unlock pattern and the Chromebook will open.

            You can, ofc, login using your password on your Chromebook if your phone is nearby, but locked, and the otherside of the room and you feel too lazy to get up and grab it…

          • Noooo you misunderstood me. What I meant by:

            “since the laptop itself will be a way to unlock the phone, the phone will be unlocked, and hence the laptop will be unlocked too…”

            Is that the phone (via the Smart Lock Lollipop thing) will _already be unlocked_ as soon as it recognizes the laptop nearby. Then, when you need to login again on the laptop, the phone _will be unlocked_, so there’s no need to go and unlock it to login on the laptop.

    • Sean Lumly

      Yes, it would be so much better not to have to unlock your phone, especially if in a trusted home-zone.

    • mediumsizedrob

      I’d much rather unlock my phone than type my randomly generated 1Password nonsense every time.

  • Sean Lumly

    I’m looking forward to enabling this on my device. It should be both more convenient and more secure than using a password alone. Ideally, a smartwatch (or some other wearable) would be a better key due to the convenience of wearing it, but I’m fine with a smartphone/tablet.

  • Boothy

    Samsung Series 5 550 must be the only Chrome device released without bluetooth!!!!
    Well, despite being an awesome Chromebook in every other way, guess I’ll be having to keep typing that password on boot-up………………..

  • Daniel Huls

    This will help those who use a password manager, like LastPass, and/or have huge complex passwords that are hard to memorize and prone to typing mistakes. Chrome OS now just needs a picture password, like Windows 8. And as another option, although controversial, it should have face recognition unlock, like in Android.

  • Danrarbc

    I’m using this now. It’s so awesome.

    My Moto 360 unlocks my phone, and that unlocks the Chromebook. If I have all three with me I don’t have to type any PINs or passwords in. If any piece isn’t in proximity it is secured. Cool beans.

    • Fabrizio Pullarà

      The Easy unlock options seems to be gone from my Chromebook, running the latest Dev build: nothing under flags, nothing under the settings.. I had it back when I was one the stable channel though, how do I get it back?

  • Benjamen Meiers

    In Dev this option is auto-enabled. I assume you need to also have a Nexus 5 running lollipop. One would also infer that the Nexus 5 needs to have a secured lockscreen. I am assuming that activating some of the smart lock features might help just in case there’s some Google voodoo that needs to occur in the back-end (potentially an unseen update).

    As per Google’s MO, it will probably be limited to a few percent to make sure there are no bugs.

  • Les Martin

    I had this working last night, but it has disappeared. It’s not showing in the settings anymore.

  • Jake F

    Is there gonna be IOS compatibility in the future?

    • lolno

    • Pretzel Jones

      Well that would be up to Apple to implement, so probably not.

  • Smallwheels

    This is a feature that I would consider too dangerous. It opens the door to another way to invade your computer and steal your data or to track you.

    • othesick

      you can turn it off. it sounds awesome if you are at home and never bring your chromebook outside and if you are you can easily switch it off