Disabled NFC prompting for nfc unlock on restart

  • Apologies if this is already asked and answered but I found nothing when I searched.

    I've a Note 3 and when I backed the original KS my old phone (a Note) has no NFC so I'd actually forgotten to do anything with the rings until I got the carbon fibre voucher emails.

    So having configured and enabled the unlock app on my Note 3 I'd moved away from using the nfc unlock for my screen unlock though I did add the pin fallback, and then at some point later turned off nfc.

    Yesterday I was failing to connect to my home wifi so I did a phone restart (still nfc off) and was treated to the nfc unlock prompt. Now because I had configured a pin, I could get in but I was surprised that the unlock app still kicks in sans nfc switched on.

    I also noticed that the pin screen had no digits on the num pad but if I guessed they were where I needed them I could unlock. It happened on connecting to my wifi then that I got the new app update, so when I did retry the unlock with nfc back on/switched off again and trying the pin - it was now present - whether through the latest update or otherwise.

  • Community Helper

    Interesting - yeah you've got to be really careful with any security/lock app like that. Glad to know you had your pin set up!
    With the missing numbers on the keypad prompt, if it happens again then you might want to submit a bug report to the unlock app github.

  • So you expect a system with the apps on, sans nfc enabled to trigger the nfc unlock? That seems wrong to me.

  • Community Helper

    The unlock app locks your phone/provides a security screen regardless of whether you've got NFC turned on or off in the system menu of the device.

    Good thing that you had a fallback method set up. The numbers not showing though, that's a bug. If it's persistent then you should report it on the github so it can be addressed. But yeah, if you're not using the unlock app then you might be better off removing it.

  • I'm also finding that

    1. although the facet which had the unlock app on it, and shows as on it if I use other nfc tag readers, shows up as blank in the read option of the nfc control - even if it successfully unlocks using the app
    2. ring detection sans wifi or mobile data appears poor -i.e. if I am not on wifi and/or not on my mobile network I can get detection/reading blips but no screen unlock or ring tag read occurring
    3. are you saying sans removal of unlock app I cannot disable the unlock app? Its not shown in my phone as enabled by which I mean the device still shows my previous swipe method enable, and that is what triggers when I screen time out - the unlock app only (mis)fired after a power cycle.

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    I seem to recall that the control app would ignore the unlock key so as to stop you overwriting the key. Other apps don't care about the key and will show it/allow you to modify it. @johnyma22 ?

    Network should have nothing to do with NFC. The two are seperate systems and should not be interacting. This may be a quirk of your device.

    I have known at least one occurrence of the app re-enabling itself after being updated by the system. It's bad housekeeping to leave unused apps installed and would be particularly bad were you to forget the backup pin or similar.

  • There's a big difference between 'leaving unused apps installed' and temporarily disabling a hardware feature that existing apps cannot meaningfully function without.
    As a UK mobile user I've got dozens of unused apps because the vendors have pushed them as unremoveable.

    I do not disagree that nfc and network should have nothing to do with each other, I was merely commenting that the unlock app appears to behave differently depending if I'm on a mobile or wifi network, or not.

  • Ok so since I originally posted this I've had several attempts to reset my password and get ye olde username/password problem - however I've just side stepped that and actually got to the unlock apps settings.

    For me when I keyed my all lowercase registered email address, and added my just reset via the website password I still kept getting rejected at the one time verify stage.
    My stock keyboard was adding a space AFTER the email I've keyed in, and AFTER the password. Having noticed the space after my keyed password before I had been removing that BUT thus far I'd not removed the extra email space which I presume was the source of my woes.

  • ... so now when my screen locks, not just at reboot, The nfc unlock app kicks in.

  • Community Helper

    What do you mean? Only you can disable the hardware features on your phone. The unlock app does not.
    I'd like to just reinforce that I wasn't expressing an opinion about NFC function being unrelated to wifi/mobile service - the three are on different frequencies using different antennas, different radios and different portions of the phone. This appears to be a quirk of your device and I'd lean towards something being damaged or off-kilter.

    Are you certain you have the app disabled? The unlock app will run regardless of the status of NFC on your device if it is enabled. If you're not using it I'd recommend removing it, you can always reinstall it later.

  • When I reported the original issue I'd installed the unlock and ring control apps but had not yet verified, meaning I could use the ring and unlock if and only if I'd explicitly launched the app. After my wireless connection issue I did a network restart - no effect then went for a phone restart when I got the nfc unlock on reboot unexpectedly. So what was actually happening was that my attempts to verify even after reset the password several times was that the 'extra space' after both my email and password which appear to have be being submitted in the verification attempt which fails because my email did not have an extra space on the end nor did my password. Having observed the space and removed them I was able to verify which means I get to actually use the unlock app settings to enable/disable the app i.e. so its not trigger by screenlock nor reboot if I want - i.e. when I've had my nfc disabled!

    Usefully when you enable/disable it does force you to use your ring to unlock so as to confirm you actually can - but the other side of my original point was I'd not chosen to enable it and I'd turned off my nfc. - so if I had not had the pin option (or the google option) configured I'd have been stuffed (technical term).

    So several issues, none of then truly a problem with the rings or the apps but useful to be aware of:

    1. ring not yet verified and unlock app treats as enabled for restart only (or manual launch)
    2. after verified email unlock app enabled for restart or screen lock (can be enabled/disabled in unlock app)
    3. android keyboard auto inserted a space after the email and password I'd keyed without me realising/noticing meaning onetime verify email fails sue to one or other or both not passing verificaiton due to erroreous space!
    4. way easier to disable the app (and return you just your original unlock routine) by disabling the unlock app NOT removing/uninstalling it.
    5. for me on a note3 with battery based nfc tag, I get better results unlocking/reading rings if network/wifi enabled - for whatever reason.

  • Community Helper

    Ah, now I'm following you better. Thanks.
    Definitely things for new users to be aware of there. And if you're not running Lollipop or higher then the unlock app is still relevant, but if you do have Lollipop then you can set the NFC Ring up as a trusted agent for unlock.
    I find doing that and using GPS to set an allowed home unlocked area is the easiest solution for me personally.

    The battery-housed NFC loops are large, almost credit card sized. It's a poor match to the 2013 rings and can do some very odd things, but I do wonder if maybe the note is turning down the power on the NFC reader when everything is off (I believe it turns off completely on flight mode, which led to some interesting effects early on before PIN fallback implementation).

  • I do have lollipop on it but I'd not yet taken the step to configure the trusted agent.

  • Community Helper

    It might be worth a try, it leaves your original lock screen and entry method in place and just uses the NFC Ring to bypass the need for pin/pattern/etc, giving you a swipe to unlock instead.

  • For completeness, roughly followed the URL elsewhere here for the trusted agent. On a note 3 having added the nfc ring as a trusted again, I appear to need to add the nfc unlock app to the trusted administrators bit before it would actually unlock with the ring.