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Coming Soon: Unlock Your Chromebook by Putting Your Phone Near It

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

Lazy? Hate having to put in your password to unlock your Chromebook? Does this opening line sound like an informercial?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions then you’ll no doubt be pleased to learn that an upcoming Chrome OS feature allows you to unlock your Chromebook simply by placing your Android smartphone near it.

How do we know? Well, Google isn’t exactly keeping it a secret. The most recent development update to Chrome OS included an ‘Easy Unlock’ flag, though it’s disabled by default. Switching it on does little at present, short of presenting the following popup:

easy unlock 2

This toast aside little else is known about the feature, how it will work or what kind of security will be baked in.

Some are speculating that it will require a companion Android app to be open and running; others that it will work solely over WiFi using some kind of intelligent proximity matching. Based on the features offered by the ‘Chrome Unlock API’ that surfaced late last year all of these are possibilities.

Chances are we’ll learn more about it at Google I/O in June.

Innovative if a little anxiety inducing: if I lost my bag with my phone and Chromebook in, it would give the thief easy access to my online life…