Google Evangelist Recommends Against Using Swipe-to-Unlock on Android

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bathtbgin

Pattern unlock != Swipe to unlock

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aarcane

I've been using this trick for a long time now. Like.. Since the swipe thing first came onto the scene. I warn all my friends about it, and when they don't listen, I go snooping into their "private" lives.

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vrmlbasic

Why not just rub your finger randomly on the screen as time goes by to thwart this, or draw patterns with the screen off to be a sort of "false pattern", akin to dialing bogus codes on keypads so that numbers besides the ones for the code are worn down?

The problem I find is that the swipe method of unlocking is just so convenient, moreso than having to dial a pin/password. If only I could say the same thing about the Swype keypad system.

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tony2tonez

I use password instead of swipe or pin.

I tried the methods of looking at the swipes and its pretty easy to get in. I was telling a friend about this, because he uses a swipe pin on his Apple and didn't believe me. Took me about 15mins and I was in. He wasn't to happy about it.

Even looking at your photo, what do people think it is.
I'm going with along the lines of 1703.

I'm guessing left handed, starting at 1, then you could see change in direction with maybe extra pressure applied at the 7 and goes down, the only other # that low on numeric keys is 0. And a final swipe up to 3 and slide off to the right as open.

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tony2tonez

Of it they were right handed it could be reversed.

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dgrmouse

I'd like to see built-in fingerprint scanners. They are super-cheap, moderately durable, USB-based, and very difficult to foil. They also make great "hotkeys", allowing different programmed reactions for each finger.

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compro01

You vastly overestimate how difficult most fingerprint scanners are to fool. You may find this paper enlightening.

http://wwwstdot.com/pub/ffs_article_asten_akaseva.pdf

Also, the failure mode sucks. If someone finds out your pin/password, you just change you pin/password. If someone duplicates your fingerprints, which you helpfully leave /everywhere/, then what do you do?

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dgrmouse

I respect the guys in Helsinki (they got a LOT of us started w/ Linux!), but if they want to break into your phone they are going to find some way to do it. Building up a prosthetic finger from a fingerprint is a non-trivial task, and even then the success rate is very low. It's certainly a more secure form of authentication than a gesture. It's also trivially possible to have a telephone snap a photo, send an e-mail, etc. upon authentication failures, which could be a pretty strong deterrent. And besides, the hot-key functionality would be really useful - especially on a small minimalistic interface like on a smart-phone.

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Joe The Plummer

Wouldn't this still be a problem with a pin? If you're hands are that greasy to reveal a swipe, they would be for pins too.

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compro01

A button press for the pin looks like any other button press, like for dialing a number. the continuous swipe for a pattern lock is much more distinctive and not a motion you're likely to use for anything else.

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p47riot

I use an app called 'SeekDroid' that includes a PIN lock. With it, you can also remotely lock or wipe your phone, activate an audible alarm, and track the current location.

EDIT: I remembered after I posted this, that I originally got the paid app from Amazon as the App of the Day. There is a free lite version as well, though I'm not sure which features it has.

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bling581

I can see this happening to some people, but I don't think it's a widespread issue. All the apps I use require touching the screen, especially gaming so I don't see how your unlock "code" could be so apparent. I think they're being a little overly dramatic.

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ddimick

I don't. I used pattern unlock for a couple weeks and it was very easy to look at the screen and discern the pattern. It would probably only take a few attempts to unlock it. Switched back to PIN.

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bling581

Perhaps it's the type of material that's being used for the screen? I'm touching my screen a lot on a daily basis browsing the web or playing games, and I looked at it just now and not a single smudge. Not sure why others have problems.

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Lorondos

Ever since I have encrypted my GN, only gives the option to lock via password or PIN code so makes me think that Google really think of the other lock methods as more of a novelty more than anything and that you should really use either a PIN or password.

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