Android Pie Users Facing Pattern Lock Issue

The Android Pie has been constantly plagued with a multitude of problems it seems. While Google has successfully fixed some of the major issues like the fast charging bug, new problems are coming to light alarmingly fast.

Case in point, users have been reporting a major security bug for several months now. It somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight, but it was finally caught hold of. The problem this time around is related to the pattern lock feature that a number of Android users have been using.

The feature, as many already know has a setting which enables you to conceal your unlock pattern. For those unaware, disabling the ‘make pattern visible’ option does this.

When turned off, the option offers you more security, as there’s a relatively lesser chance of people around you getting to know your phone’s unlock pattern. Unfortunately, though, the concealment of unlock pattern has been an acting glitch as of late in the Android 9 Pie.

Following are some online user reports that explain the issue in further detail:

  • This bug emerged after I updated my Pixel to Android Pie and is still happening after the latest update. I ticked off the option “make pattern visible”, yet often (but not always) the pattern is shown. I’m not 100% sure how this can be reproduced, but my impression is that it happens when your phone is locked, you get a notification (new text, new mail) and you double tap the notification which wants your phone to unlock. Then the pattern is visible.
  • Pixel XL, Android 9.0. In Settings -> Security Location -> Device Security, I have “Make pattern visible” unchecked. But it still shows up sometimes when I unlock the phone with the pattern lock
  • Pixel XL on Android 9.0 – Security pattern keeps resetting to being visible
  • It seems that randomly the phone keeps changing the pattern visibility back to being visible, which is a serious problem. This only started happening after upgrading to Pie OTA
  • I am experiencing the same thing with the release version of Android Pie. I can’t reproduce the issue on demand, but it randomly happens from time to time

Admittedly the number of reports isn’t very large. But this could be because not everyone has a habit of hiding their unlock pattern, and more importantly, the glitch is random. The randomness of the behavior makes the issue serious, as you never know when the unlock pattern may become visible.

It’s also worth mentioning that the issue was highlighted by participants during the Android 9.0 beta phase. Google even marked the problem as fixed on its Issue Tracker website. But for some unfortunate reason, the glitch managed to make its way to the final launch of the operating system.

Analyzing the reports, we see that the majority of the complaints are users of Google’s Pixel series of smartphones.

The problem after being labeled as fixed in the beta phase was highlighted once again after the influx of the Android Pie update. It was turned over to the relevant department at Google for a solution. However, there still has been no update whatsoever on the matter since then.

Meanwhile, we hope a permanent fix to the solution is soon available.