Android 12L beta points to the arrival of Face Unlock for Google Pixel 6 Pro

The Android 12L beta contains references that the Google Pixel 6 Pro may get Face Unlock after all. That’s what 9to5Google discovered. The beta version of this OS refers to an experimental “faceauth” feature. The Google Pixel 6 beta does not include this code.

The APK Insight team at 9to5Google found the references in the source code of the recently released Android 12L beta. The website lists two different lines of code stating “face auth” for “Raven”. That’s the code name for the Google Pixel 6 Pro. Those lines are not in the same code files for the ‘regular’ Google Pixel 6, which is called ‘Oriole’ internally at Google. This indicates that Face Unlock would only be available for the Pro variant. As far as we know, the Pixel 6 Pro does not have special sensors for facial recognition. The Pro variant does have a selfie camera with higher resolution and wider viewing angle than that of the Pixel 6.

9to5Google reports that it also found references to face verification that refer to Face Unlock as an “experimental” feature. The feature is therefore not yet available and it is not completely certain whether Face Unlock will actually be released for the smartphone. There are also lines of code indicating that Pixel 6 Pro users can switch between Face Unlock, the under-display fingerprint scanner, or a combination of the two.

There were previously rumors that the Google Pixel 6 series would come with a Face Unlock function, writes 9to5Google. This turned out not to be the case at release. For now, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the only Pixel devices with support for Face Unlock. Those two smartphones use a Soli radar for 3D facial recognition.