Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings "Liveness Check" to Face Unlock, comes with Google Currents preinstalledAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
We already know that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean comes with several tweaks and enhancements to check out, including Google Now and the speed and fluidity brought by Project Butter. Now that the update has begun making its way into the wild, though, users are beginning to discover even more changes that Google has crammed into its latest treat. First up, it's been revealed that Google has added a new setting to Face Unlock to make the feature just a tad more secure. Shortly after Face Unlock debuted alongside Ice Cream Sandwich, it was discovered that a device could be unlocked with a photo of the owner instead of the person's actual face. That's changed in Jelly Bean, though, as users can now enable a "Liveness Check" that requires a person to blink before the device will actually unlock.
The next Jelly Bean tweak relates to Google Currents, the Android app that allows users to add their favorite websites and view content in a magazine-like format. Currents has been around since late last year, but as Nexus devices begin moving to (or launching with) Android 4.1 next month, Currents will become a preinstalled app. That's according to an email sent from Google to its Currents partners that was acquired by the folks at Android Central. In the email, Google told its partners to expect a substantial user base growth thanks to the change.
Obviously these changes are smaller than some of the other tweaks coming with Android 4.1, but it's still good to know that they'll be there when it comes time to move to Jelly Bean. While the "Liveness Check" won't magically make Face Unlock the most secure way to keep intruders out of your device, the improvement is a welcome one. And as for Currents, I'm sure that it being bundled in will lead to some new folks checking it out that wouldn't have otherwise done so, if only so they can find out what's in that app with the swirly blue icon. How many of you already use Google Currents? What about Face Unlock? Any of you out there forgoing a PIN or password and using your mug to unlock your device?