This week developers discovered a new feature in Android Oreo not really emphasized as very important by Google before. The feature discovered was the ability to allow apps to dismiss the Android lock screen when the lock screen has no pin code, password, or pattern. This feature also allows apps to bypass the lock screen when the device is already technically unlocked thanks to Smart Lock.
With this feature, an app that generally only gives a small notification on a lockscreen could potentially open a full app. If you were playing Fantasy Football, for example, and a player you were watching suddenly became available, a notification could open the full app so that you’d be able to take action as soon as possible. Every second counts!
Also consider the possibilities for massive multi-screen art projects. A hundred Android phones, all black, opening at the same time VIA a notification which then springs them to life in a wave of color. Or how about a notification in Pokemon GO when a Pokemon you’ve been looking for appears nearby – opening up immediately so you’ll have the best chance at nabbing it asap!
It would appear that this feature can only be used when an Android device’s lockscreen is already disabled. Even so, there may be some concern over the possibility that this feature could be abused by nefarious developers. We’ll be keeping an eye on future appearances of this feature to see whether it ends up bringing awesome features to a select few Android apps – or if it gets axed.
Developers can find the API for this feature at the Android Developer site by seeking out android.app.Activity and android.app.KeyguardManager.KeyguardDismissCallback. This opens up the doors to far more apps showing themselves freely than was ever available before. For the everyday average Android user this feature’s allowance makes Android automation with Tasker a much more powerful proposition – as XDA suggested earlier today.