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Google’s offline device lock feature only works twice a day (APK teardown)

Google’s offline device lock feature only works twice a day (APK teardown)
Credit: Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority

We have managed to manually activate offline device lock for Android phones.
Google announced this feature (and other new security features) at Google I/O.
The theft detection feature will only lock the device twice per day.

Google announced it would roll out new theft protection features for Pixel phones during Google I/O. These features include theft detection lock, offline device lock, and remote lock. We have managed to activate some of these features in our most recent APK teardown.

If you don’t remember what these features do, theft detection lock will automatically lock your device if it senses motion commonly associated with theft. Offline device lock will lock your device if it thinks a thief is trying to disconnect your phone for a prolonged period of time. Finally, remote lock will allow you to lock your device with a different phone by typing in your phone number and answering a quick security challenge.

Through Google Play Services (beta version 24.26.31), we were able to activate the offline device lock feature manually. When using it, we got a notification pop-up confirming the phone had been locked after being disconnected from Wi-Fi and data for a while. Users will also see a pop-up that explains how the feature works, along with the options to turn the feature on or leave it off.

Something surprising we discovered is that the feature seems to only auto-lock your device twice per day. Google did not mention this limitation in the announcement, but it’s clear as day in the screenshot above.

Since announcing this and the other two theft prevention functions, Google has opened up beta access to users in Brazil. However, anyone who wants to test it out has to fill out a form to gain access. There’s no date for when Google will open up access to other parts of the world.

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