How to Unlock Your Android Phone with Your Fitbit

woman wearing a fitbit

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Everybody knows that unlocking your phone with a complicated passcode can be a pain—even a four-digit passcode can be forgotten or fumbled when entering it, especially if you have to enter it a hundred times a day.

But security on your mobile phone is vital, and the passcode has been the primary means of protecting all of the sensitive data you keep on your device. Unfortunately, some people elect to disable passcodes altogether for the sake of convenience and instant access to their phone. This is understandable but unwise choice

For a long time, there were no other convenient options for phone security outside the passcode. Then, iPhone users gained biometric-based unlocking of their phone via the Touch ID fingerprint reader, which was introduced with the iPhone 5S and has since been incorporated in later models, as well as iPads and even MacBook Pro laptops. iPhone X introduced face recognition as another method of unlocking an iPhone.

Smart Lock for Android

Android users, however, didn't have a quick unlock feature until the addition of the Smart Lock capabilities found in the Android Lollipop 5.0 OS. Smart Lock added several new locking and unlocking methods, and it also improved on the previous facial recognition feature offered in earlier versions of the OS. The new Android 5.0 Smart Lock feature has now added the ability to use a trusted Bluetooth device's presence to unlock your phone.

Here's how to set up Android Smart Lock to use a Fitbit (or any trusted Bluetooth device) to unlock your phone. These directions should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

  1. Ensure that you have a passcode or pattern set for your device. If you need to set one for the first time, Open your Android device's "settings" menu, navigate to Personal and choose Security. In the Screen Security section, choose Screen Lock. If there is an existing PIN or passcode you'll have to enter it here, otherwise follow the instructions to create a new pattern, password, or PIN to secure your device.

  2. Enable Smart Lock. In order to use the Smart Lock feature with a trusted Bluetooth device, you'll first need to make sure that Smart Lock is enabled. Open Your Android device's Settings menu. In the section labeled Personal, select Security. Navigate to the Advanced menu and choose Trust agents and make sure that the Smart Lock option is turned to the On position. In the Screen Security section, choose Smart Lock. Enter the screen lock PIN, password, or pattern that you created in step 1 above.

  3. Set Smart Lock to recognize your Fitbit as a trusted Bluetooth device. To set Smart Lock to trust a Bluetooth device for the purpose of unlocking your device, first make sure Bluetooth on your Android device is turned on. From the Smart Lock menu, choose Trusted devices. Select Add trusted device, then choose Bluetooth. Select your Fitbit (or another Bluetooth device you want to use) from the list of connected Bluetooth devices.

The Bluetooth device you want to use must have already been paired to your Android device for it to be available as a Smart Lock trusted Bluetooth device.

Removing a Trusted Bluetooth Device in Smart Lock

Choose the device from the list of Trusted Devices in the Smart Lock menu. Select Remove the device from your list, and then tap OK.

It is important to be aware that, depending on the range of your phone's Bluetooth radio, someone nearby could access your phone if the device you've paired it to for Smart Unlock is nearby. For example, if you're in a meeting in the room next door to your office and your phone is left unattended on your desk, someone could access it without a passcode because your paired device (Fitbit, watch, or other paired Smart Lock trusted device) is in range for it to unlock the phone.