Google Smart Lock is basically three different products. That is confusing, mainly because they are also three things that have little, but a little bit to do with each other. You come across Smart Lock in three moments: you can unlock your Android smartphone on specific ones, you can sync your passwords between Chrome and Android, and you can use your Android to unlock your Chromebook.
We'll walk you through the three different options in this article, and we'll start with Google Smart Lock for Android.
Smart Lock for Android
With Smart Lock for Android, you can keep your device unlocked at specific times. For example, when you carry your device with you, when Google knows that you are in specific places (such as at home or at work), when you have paired a trusted (Bluetooth) device, when the device recognizes your face or when you recognize your voice is via Voice Match.
The five methods have their advantages, but also their disadvantages. Because how does your smartphone know whether it is still with you? Your Android cannot check whether you have lent it to someone in the meantime. The Trusted Places option already works better, but requires a high degree of accuracy to do its job well.
If you connect a Bluetooth speaker or wearable, you can also keep your phone unlocked. This will give you faster access to specific features that are not present on the locked screen, as long as your phone is near that device. If you leave your phone somewhere or lose it, the device will be locked. This seems to be a 'best of both worlds' scenario: convenience when you need it, security when it counts.
Smart Lock for passwords
The more services and accounts you use, the more profiles and passwords you have. You can save these with a password manager, but you can also use Smart Lock for passwords. That feature syncs saved passwords between Chrome and Android and lets you log in automatically when a site or app is recognized. Sometimes you still have to confirm the login details. But the Netflix app shows that you can log in without any hassle after launching the app. At the bottom is the message that you are logging in via Smart Lock; you don't have to do anything for this.
Smart Lock for Chromebooks
Smart Lock for Chromebooks is the easiest feature to explain. You can use the service to unlock your Chromebook. You do this via your Android smartphone. It works fine on its own, but sometimes it's faster to use your password or PIN. Your Chromebook and Android need Bluetooth to connect to each other. And if you often have your bluetooth turned off, that can become quite a hassle over time.