If you secure your Android smartphone by using the screen lock, which I recommend, you know that you have to enter the PIN or pattern every time you start the phone. While I am happy to be able to secure my device, I do find it a hassle to have to enter the PIN even if I just had the phone on a few seconds prior. Further, if I am using my phone at home where it is not going to be lost or stolen, do I really still need to have it secured with a passcode? An app called Unlock With WiFi provides a way to not have to enter the PIN when you are at home.
After installing Unlock With WiFi, I found myself thinking the same thing as Android Guys, “why didn’t I think of that?” Unlock With WiFi disables the screen lock when the phone is connected to your home WiFi network. When you first start the app you specify the name of your home network, and while you are on that network each time you turn your phone off and on, you immediately see the home screen. Turn off WiFi on the phone, or go outside the WiFi network’s coverage and the screen lock is re-enabled, and the next time you turn on the phone you must enter the PIN or pattern.
Unlock With WiFi has additional features that make the app even more useful. One feature is delay lock, which prevents the phone from locking within a specified amount of time. Windows Mobile users will recognize this feature because it is the default behavior for its screen lock. Another feature is the ability to turn WiFi off when you leave the network coverage, and Unlock With WiFi can also turn the GPS radio on when you leave the network and turn it back off when you return to the network.
Free and paid versions of Unlock With WiFi are available in the Android Market. If you use the free version you will see ads that appear as notifications on the phone, and the paid version costs $1.99. Be aware, if you connect your phone to a corporate Exchange server that enforces password security policies Unlock With WiFi will not work on your phone.