Face Unlock Comes to All Android Devices with FaceLock

Face Unlock Comes to All Android Devices with FaceLock

Feb 15, 2012

Jealous of the Face Unlock functionality that the Galaxy Nexus has? Want to use it to protect apps as well? Then FaceLock is the solution. What this tool does is that it emulates Face Unlock from Ice Cream Sandwich, but uses it primarily for apps.

Users begin by training FaceLock to recognize them by taking a minimum of seven photos for it to learn what the user’s face looks like. More than seven can be added, which is best because of all the various lighting scenarios that are out there. It is possible to use the front-facing camera, but because it’s much harder to line up one’s face, this is decidedly more inconvenient. Use this only on a device with a front-facing camera.

So, does FaceLock work? Yes! It works remarkably well, recognizing faces rather quickly in decent lighting conditions when testing on the Motorola Xoom. When testing in lower light, when the Xoom’s camera gets notably fuzzy, the facial recognition tended to fail. It’s not a matter of caputring faces in low lighting situations to make it work better – the facial recognition just did not work at all. This could be an issue with the Xoom’s front-facing camera in particular though. The app does support password input as a fallback if facial reocgnition does not work. The locking can be set to be required each time the app is opened, to have it disabled once it’s been unlocked and the screen remains on, or to set it on a delay before it re-locks (only available in the pro version).

FaceLock comes in free and paid varieties. The free version locks Settings, Market, Task Manager, and one custom app. The pro version supports enabling locking for any app of the user’s choice. As well, a PIN can be entered instead of a password, and best of all: it can be used as the lock screen, emulating Face Unlock completely. Both Free and Pro versions are available now from the Android Market, and require Android 2.3 or later devices.