Google announced at CES 2019 a few months ago that the ability for Voice Match to act as a password to fully unlock your device would be disappearing and it appears that the company is staying true to its word.
The change is beginning to roll out on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, as promised, which sees the ability for Voice Match to unlock your device removed. Instead, Voice Match recognition on both phones and tablets can now only provide personal results within Assistant, such as email, calendar entries, reminders or shopping lists.
With the device in a locked state, users are now only able to interact with the limited Assistant on the lock screen without entering a fingerprint, password, or PIN. You’ll be able to recongize the limited functionality of Google Assistant by the lock icon at the top of the screen. Previously, a recognised voice would allow the device to be unlocked and access to the full suite of Assistant functionality provided.
This subtle change, while a step in the right direction when it comes to ensuring the security of your device, will now require you to unlock your device to do simple tasks such as issues commands to play music or skip a song. The requirement now to authenticate your identity to unlock your device removes the hands-free element of some very useful commands.
The change is currently being rolled out as a server-side switch and seems to be hitting Pixel devices first. You’ll be able to tell if the update has hit your device as navigating to the Google Assistant settings will show that the option for “Unlock with Voice Match” has been replaced with “Lock screen personal results”.
Let us know your thoughts of this change in the comments below.