The developer also noted that Google doesn’t generally push device tree changes of developer previews or beta releases to their Git. This is also not the first time that ‘Tuscany’ is mentioned in the context of face unlock. Earlier reports suggested that Google worked on face unlock for the Pixel 6 series, but decided to scrap it. The feature allegedly wasn’t ready, and it also drained too much battery as well.
Face unlock is not available on the Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, as owners are fully aware, yet there is still hope. Thanks to Freak07, an XDA developer, more evidence for it has appeared. There’s still a chance that face unlock may be included to the Pixel 6. He discovered a new update relating to the feature when looking into the Android 12 QRP3 Beta 1.1 release. The modification was discovered in the PowerHAL configuration file. Face unlock was discovered in that file, with the feature dubbed ‘Tuscany’ by Google in this commit.
If it arrives, though, Google’s facial scanning will use the front-facing camera, of course. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are not equipped with hardware for advanced facial scanning. So, the feature definitely won’t be as secure as Apple’s. Still, it will be a nice addition for Pixel users if they prefer facial scanning over the fingerprint scanner. That fingerprint scanner on the two devices has been improved since launch, but it’s still not the fastest out there. So, facial scanning could be useful.
It may arrive as part of the next Pixel feature drop. Based on this new information, Google may end up offering facial scanning after all. That feature may be included in one of the upcoming feature drops that Google organizes, possibly in the next one which is coming mid-year. Considering the timing of the next feature drop, Google may even take the advantage of Google I/O, and announce it during the event, or at the very least tease it in some way. We’ll have to wait and see.