Android 13 fixes one of the worst things about controlling your smart home

You can finally stop unlocking your phone just to turn on a light

Android 11 added some super handy smart home controls to the power button menu, so naturally, last year’s update did away with them altogether. While toggles for your lights, cameras, and more were still accessible from a new lock screen shortcut, it required you to unlock your device to do anything, making the entire experience feel slow and clunky. Thankfully, a new change in today’s Android 13 Beta 1 release sets the stage for some big improvements.

A new toggle in the lock screen settings menu allows you to bypass the need to unlock your phone or tablet to control any of your smart home gadgets. Once this toggle is enabled, you won’t need to enter a PIN or use your fingerprint just to turn on a light. Instead, everything will be accessible right from the jump.


As it stands, this feature is disabled by default, so users will have to opt in to prevent security concerns. It’ll also have to be supported by the device controls app itself — for example, Google Home. Right now, it doesn’t seem like any app supports it just yet, as I’m still required to authenticate myself before controlling any of my gadgets. With any luck, things will look much different by the time Android 13 launches later this year.

We’re still digging through all of the changes available in today’s Android 13 update, but if you want to try it out for yourself, downloading it to your Pixel phone is super easy.


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