Apple has been more focused on Face ID in the post-iPhone 8 era. The company has added a substantial amount of dedicated hardware, including a substantial time-of-flight sensor, that somehow integrates into the design language of its products. For a variety of reasons, Google and others have historically been more hesitant to follow that road. However, Google is now advertising Face Unlock on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro with a more relaxed attitude.
This year, an “upgraded” wide-angle selfie camera on the new Pixels replaces the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro’s various sensors. However, Google relies on its state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm for facial recognition more than anything else, the company revealed. Anyways, we all know it is Google’s ML algorithms that make their camera system what it is.
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We have seen in the past that it is easy to fool facial recognition software on smartphones. As a result, Google is issuing the customary cautions about having enough light and being mindful of face coverings and has chosen to only accept fingerprints when users are verifying Google account sign-ins for apps and mobile payments.
Moreover, if they choose to set up all those authentication methods, Pixel 7 and 7 Pro owners can only use either their faces or fingerprints to unlock their phones. There isn’t a unique hybrid or two-factor approach to unlocking these Pixels. According to Google, the face unlock feature is solely for the lock screen and doesn’t meet the required biometric standards to open apps like password managers or authorize mobile payments, unlike its under-screen fingerprint cousin.