Android 5.0 devices can now unlock Chromebooks with Smart Lock

Back in April, I noticed Google working on a trick that unlocks Chrome OS devices with Android phones. Now, the feature is here; at least for those adventurous types that use the Dev Channel of Chrome OS.

I saw the news over the weekend and my friend over at Computerworld, JR Raphael, put the new feature through the paces earlier today. Since it seemed relatively easy to set up, I switched my [company]Google[/company] Chromebook Pixel to the Chrome OS Dev Channel to test it and it works as advertised. Of course, you have to find the Smart Lock setting before you can actually use it.

That’s not too difficult though. Just type Chrome://flags in the Chrome browser on a Chromebook and find enable the Easy Unlock and Easy Sign-On experimental features. You’ll need to restart the browser on your Chromebook but after that you’ll see a new Smart Lock feature on the Advanced Chrome OS settings page.

Smart lock Chrome OS settings

Click the Smart Lock button to set it up. Chrome OS will start looking for your nearby Android phone and ask if that’s the device you want to use with Smart Lock. Note that you’ll need to have a lock screen method on the Android phone for this to work.

Once you walk through the setup prompts, you’re all set! Now, when your unlocked Android phone is nearby the Chromebook, you won’t have to enter your Chrome OS password. Instead, you can just click the little green unlock icon.

Chrome OS Smart Unlock button

I had hoped that an Android Wear watch could be used for Smart Lock but it doesn’t look like it. At least not yet. The best I get is a notification on my Smartwatch 3 that my phone just unlocked my Chromebook for now.

Android Wear unlocked Chromebook

Now if my Android Wear watch can be a trusted device to keep my Android phone unlocked, I wonder: At some point might all three devices be paired and stay unlocked when in proximity? Here’s hoping.