Forgetting Your Password or PIN on Android 8.1 Might Brick Your Device Permanently
Last week, Google released the developer preview version of Android 8.1 – the next step when it comes to the Oreo OS. We discussed a number of new features that were introduced in this update, as well as how to install Android 8.1 last week. Today, we have come across a strange new feature which could prove rather troublesome for some users.
A feature of this latest version of the Android OS causes the devices to be bricked if you forget your PIN/Password/Pattern to unlock the phone. This was recently discovered by a Reddit user who bricked his Pixel 2 XL.
Usually, if you were to forget your security details, the only option you’d have is to factory reset the device. While you would lose access to most of your data and your apps, your phone would still be functioning. However, this is not the case on Android 8.1. In the past, the factory reset process would ask you for your Google account’s password. However, now it asks you the same security password you used on your phone (which you have now forgotten).
For those of our readers who may not be aware of what a ‘bricked’ device is – it is basically a phone that is as useless as a brick. You can’t do anything on it anymore. Google tech support has now confirmed that this is not a bug but actually an intended feature. Those who have their devices in warranty can get them replaced.
However, it is expected that this is a beta feature which Google would remove before they release the stable version of Android 8.1 comes out. If this feature is not removed, this might actually be quite a counterproductive feature for the users of Google’s Pixel C tablet where there’s a bug which tends to randomly change the lock pattern of the devices.
Ironically, this security feature might end up having some users not securing their device. Stay tuned with us for more details on this ‘security feature’ on Android 8.1.