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Unlocking your Chromebook with Your Phone, aka SmartLock, is Going Away (Update: It is not)

Google is removing the ability to unlock your Chromebook using Android phones. The feature called SmartLock will soon be removed from a Chrome OS.

Update: SmartLock isn’t going away completely. Read this article from Chrome Unboxed.

smart-unlock-3
SmartLock

Goodbye, SmartLock

SmartLock was a fancy way to unlock your Chromebook when fingerprint-based sign-in wasn’t widely available. It connected your Chromebook with your Android phone via Bluetooth. If the phone is unclocked, you could simply click Sign In to unlock the Chromebook.

Google thinks this feature is no longer relevant in Chrome OS.

The team recently added a way to track how many users have this feature enabled.

SmartLock Metric
SmartLock Metric

Today, they added an experimental flag that removes the SmartLock settings page and also sends a notification to users who might have used this feature in the past.

Remove Sign in with Smart Lock: Deprecates Sign in with Smart Lock feature. Hides Smart Lock on the sign-in screen removes the Smart Lock subpage in settings and shows a one-time notification for users who previously had this feature enabled.

When I saw this code change request, I wasn’t convinced. Are they really removing SmarLock or making some improvements or placing it on a different screen?

My answer came in the form of a change comment:

Google is removing SmartLock from Chrome OS.
Google is removing SmartLock from Chrome OS.

Summary

If you have used SmartLock in the past, or currently use it, you’ll soon see a notification about retiring SmartLock. If you never used SmartLock, well, you do know how to read the future.

Do you think this is a smart decision? Let me know in the comments section.

Source: Chromium Repository.

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