Google is rolling out a new smart lock security feature called “on-body detection”. The feature uses your phone’s accelerometer to keep your phone unlocked if it’s in your pocket or your hand. Set it down, however, and the phone will lock itself with your preferred locking method. It’s an intelligent feature that saves the hassle of having to unlock your phone every time you pull it out of your pocket, which deters many (myself included) from using a screen lock.
Unfortunately, the phone will remain unlocked if you hand it to someone else. Since it’s not using any sort of DNA recognition, the on-body detection can only tell that someone is holding it, not who is holding it. Nonetheless, it can take away some of the annoyance and can be used in conjunction with other security features, so you can tweak things around until you get the right set-up.
The feature is currently in a limited rollout to devices with the latest version of Google Play Services, as well as Android 5.0 and above. There’s no official word, but this will likely roll out to all devices in the near future.