Dec 24 AT 6:37 PM Edgar Cervantes 66 Comments

Face Unlock now possible for Nexus S Ice Cream Sandwich users


Nexus S users are currently enjoying their update to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The new UI and features are awesome, but there is one little thing last year’s Nexus was missing – Face Unlock.

While some consider Face Unlock to be a gimmick, others find it to be one of the coolest features in ICS. It was only a matter of time before developers were able to make this feature possible for the Nexus S. Some members of the Android Central Forums have gone ahead and snatched Face Unlock from the Galaxy Nexus and created a ROM for all the brave flashers out there.

As always, there is the accustomed disclaimer. These are AOSP custom ROMs, and flashing such may void your warranty and/or affect your device’s functionality. Those brave users who choose to go this route do so assuming all responsibility. The ROMs are not perfect (just like all others) as there could be some bugs. Don’t forget to follow instructions well and read everything before proceeding.

If you still want to unlock your device à la Science fiction, go ahead and get the ROM files from the Android Central Forums. There is a version available for both the GSM (T-Mobile) and the Sprint version – so everyone is covered. Links are right below.

Get the ROM for the Sprint Nexus S 4G.

Get the ROM for the GSM Nexus S.

Are you guys flashing one of these ROMs? Let us know how it goes! Happy Holidays!

Via: Android Central

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • damambt

    downloading now!!!!!!!

    • Jorge Eslava

      If I had a Nexus S I’d be downloading it now too.

      • mr 1338

        wow i didn´t know the Nexus S update was missing Face Unlock. Why is that? a marketing move to make us buy Galaxy Nexus or has someone a good explanation for that?

        • greg

          they told nexus s hardwavre doesnt support FU

          • David

            Not that the hardware doesn’t support, as we can clearly see that it does. The point is, and this was well known for some time, the quality of the secondary camera on the Nexus S lacks the accuracy for FU to work safely (as far as FU goes) and, the most important in this case, reliably (you try to unlock and it doesn’t).

            I have a Nexus S with 4.0.3 official and I couldn’t care less about FU. I wonder if it can be unlocked by holding a face photo of the owner in front of it.

            At least in my opinion for my uses, FU is a gimmick.

        • greg

          they told nexus s hardwavre doesnt support FU

    • benjamin

      How to get ice cream sandwich on Samsung nexus s.

    • O.J. Simpson, live statement from jail

      A merry christmas!
      See you in a few years (maybe)

  • stenzor

    I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be available in the stock update

    • Anthony E

      The front facing camera on the Nexus S is pretty low resolution. That would be my guess as to why they didn’t include it.

      • lxgeorge

        Hopefully if that’s the case then maybe this ROM will convince Google that it works and they’ll include it in an official update

        • Nate B.

          It’s not about working, it’s about how well, it’ll work. The hardware on the Nexus S will not handle it well enough to enjoy.

          • redraider133

            What exactly hardware wise do you need to take a picture to unlock the screen that the nexus s does not have??

          • damambt

            Works pretty well to me. Face unlock also worked well on the first few AOSP Roms too.

          • GeauxLSU

            They may be worried about too many false positives. The low res camera may not be able to detect enough test points of a persons face to determine the difference between 2 people that look similar.

      • Jorge Branco

        Isn’t it pretty much the same camera as the galaxy nexus?

    • Kizipotamus

      It just can’t ever recognize my face. That’s because the FFC on the phone isn’t high enough resolution to make out the details it needs to be accurate.

  •!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile Rahul Singh


  • ramenchef

    Awesome. I can’t wait for this to be ported to the SGS2 as well.

  • zyphbear

    I’m impressed they got it working so quickly! I wonder if it works any better on the Nexus S with the different camera.

  • Steve Heinrich

    I need to re-root my phone. I haven’t done it since the OTA ICS update. The face unlock feature is making me wish it wasn’t Christmas eve so I could get to my computer. Monday it is.

  • Marcus

    Have fun with your face unlock, guys! :( I’m still using the trusty Nexus One. Heheh.

  • Lewis McGeary

    Have never installed a ROM, might this be the thing to tip me over the edge?

  • redraider133

    Face unlock for everybody:)

  • Dan13

    This is what I love about the android community. They enjoy putting out great projects like this for nothing more than an occasional thank you. For those of you with the Nexus S, have fun with your new face unlock!

  • Futureboy

    I just watched a demo and it is pretty slick. I thought maybe that it would be a bit laggy like the veriface on my Lenovo netbook, but it really is very quick.

  • myandroid99

    I’ll try this someday

  • Richard Yarrell

    Yes this work great on my Galaxy Nexus. Glad others can enjoy this feature. They can say it’s an gimmick all they want too but trust me it works just fine…..

    • squiddy20

      Things can “work just fine” and still be a complete gimmick. For instance, how’s that 3D display and 3D camera gimmick working out for your “legendary” Evo 3D?

      • Richard Yarrell

        It was working out just fine my friend before sale. It’s too bad you never had one you could’ve seen for yourself..

      • Richard Yarrell

        Plus my EVO 3D worked much better than your old 5year old laptop and useless Samsung moment pretty sure about that…

        • squiddy20

          Haaaaaaaa! Keep telling yourself that Dick! As I have said before, my “useless” Samsung Moment can do basically everything your current phone, let alone your Evo 3D, can do, if a little less glitzy and gaudy. Surf the web? Check. Live Wallpapers? Check. Install useful apps that I use on a constant basis? Check. Call, text, and email people? Check. Doesn’t seem very “useless” to me dumbass. Try coming up with some better insults.
          And just an FYI, pretty much all “5year old” laptops STILL beat current cell phones because laptops aren’t designed to be underpowered due to battery limitations. It’s perfectly ok for a laptop battery to last only a few hours, but a cell phone? It has to last at least a few hours which is why about half the phone consists of a battery. What a completely ridiculous and made up statement. It’s so outrageous, it might as well be a lie. For the next few years at least, cell phones will never be better than laptops. You won’t see an 8 core, 3 Ghz smart phone with 4 Gb of RAM for several years at least. WHY, you ask? Because the basic use of a smartphone is to call people, and it’s of no use to you if it won’t last more than an hour off the charger. What an illogical moron.

          • Stalte

            Last year single core, this year dual core, next year quad core. So if we follow the pattern closely. I will assume that we will see 8 core in 2013. I will be rocking it on HTC Evo 4D 5G LTE on SprinT-Mobile.

          • Stalte

            Also we will see windows 8 tablets surpass replace regular laptops in the near future.
            Also when your contract runs up for the Moment please buy an Iphone you’re just the right kind of negative to fit in with “them”.

          • squiddy20

            1. I’m not “negative”, I’m being objective. Considering 8 cores in one desktop or laptop computer isn’t even mainstream at the moment, I seriously doubt it’ll happen in phones by your projected time frame. I mean, the most mainstream multiple core processor we have right now is Intel’s i7, and that’s only 6 cores. Besides, what the hell are you going to do on a PHONE that requires THAT much processing power? The general public does just fine with dual core processors for average, everyday stuff. It’s really only the gamers, video/photo editors, 3D graphics makers, etc that really NEED quad core or more. And I’m fairly certain those video/photo editors won’t want to be doing their professional editing on a tiny 5 inch screen. Learn what you’re talking about before spouting off such nonsense.
            2. Considering the general public probably hasn’t even heard mention of “windows 8 tablets”, you’re again wrong. It’s kind of hard to sell a product, let alone cannibalize “regular laptops”, when no one’s heard/seen/experienced the product before. Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but sales of Apple’s laptops haven’t really declined much, even with the advent of the iPad. So when Windows 8 comes around, due to be released on laptops/desktops as well as tablets, I’m sure there won’t be much difference there.
            3. Sprint has yet to roll out a true “4G” network since their Wimax network has all but been scrapped and their LTE network won’t be up and running till at least late summer/fall of 2012 as they themselves have stated. So the chances of a “5G” phone coming out by then will be slim to none.
            4. “SprinT-Mobile”???? You do realize that Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s networks are completely incompatible, right? It would make absolutely no sense for either of them to merge, one of them to buy out the other, or any other conceivable deals that could happen. Please, educate yourself before making such ridiculous statements.

          • Stalte

            Dude I know I am just messing around :) I am throwing out hypothetical things that I know will never happen.
            All this gimmick stuff is what sells phones to the public who don’t understand what is really necessary in a powerful phone.
            When I tell a friend that I have a dual core phone they give me a puzzled look. When I say that my phone is 3D they ask where I got it from.

            I still think you were a little harsh

          • Angie Wimberly

            I’m so tired of the feud between you guys.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    now mytouch 4g :)

  • WlfHart

    I wonder when they will get it advanced enough to tell the difference between a face and a picture of a face.

    • Stalte

      3D front facing camera?

      • Stalte

        Only avalible on the HTC EVO 4D 5G LTE from SprinT-Mobile

        My goal today is to mention this on enough websites that it gets tipped on Engadget.

  • jimtravis

    Once I do the update, definitely give it a try. Nexus S is nice with Gingerbread, should be impressive with ICS.

  • mdwilson37

    Wow, these guys are really spreading around that holiday cheer! Gracias!!!

  • salmubarak

    time to try :D

  • Taylor

    Maybe this a dumb question, and this is likely the wrong (or not best) place to ask, but can the face unlock feature be installed independent of a full ROM upgrade? I’m already upgraded to ICS (4.0.3) via the official update and I’d like to avoid a full ROM flash and having to reinstall apps and files and all that jazz.

  • Hall Lo

    Sounds pretty sweet! :) will tell my friend with nexus s about this

  • http://XDA canadianrider

    Can’t wait for cm9 on the galaxy s….

  • Kev

    Did everybody recieve ICS for their Nexus S? Cuz I still haven’t….I own the utms varient so shouldnt my ota be available by now?

  • Piatnik 81

    Google freezed OTA updates of ICS for Nexus S for some time due to users having problems after update.

    • Kev

      Nooo!! Say… If i were to load the tmobile ota to my nexus s manually will I still get the real ota update later?

  • patrickquinn

    Man if i won this….. well id win it.

  • Donnieace

    Couldn’t get face unlock to work on mine with the other ROMS.

  • donger

    merry christmas.

  • Mark

    Wow, that’s a pretty awesome prize offering. Keeping my fingers & toes crossed! That would make my next 2 years

  • Adryan maldonado

    Dang makes me want to go to ebay and buy one. I might just do that just to have a nexus device.

  • droilfade

    I can never keep my face straight…I’ll pass! :;dD)

  • Diego Leon

    So when will the sprint nexus S get this update?

  • Pedro Oliveira

    Face unlock may be a huge security flaw.
    You may even use facebook to unlock your smart phone.

  • Byron Porter

    anyone having issue with screen rotation after the ics update? youtube and messenging do not rotate into landscape mode even though auto-rotate is turned on.

  • Tyler Tyvand

    My concern about face unlock is the flaw that a simple picture can be used to unlock the phone.

  • Robert Whittaker

    Love the face recognition, means me kids (and wife) can’t play with my phone!

  • aykutb

    hope this doesn’t cause glitches like HP’s racist webcam software. other than that it’s a cool feature, sounds more secure

  • Danthes24

    i don’t like the face lock it can be fooled with picture of the person.

  • staryoshi

    I prefer the traditional unlock methods, but I’m sure many will be interested in this development. I always love to see the proactive efforts of the development community come to fruition :)

  • Sopa

    My Nexus S has no ice cream sandwich upgrade yet. When does Sprint Nexus S get the upgrade?

  • achaitusri

    Iam using Samsung nexus s gsm when Iam installing android 4.0.3 it is showing signature error ….. can u help me to install android 4.0.3 for my mobile