As great as smartphones are, there are those rare instances when we might need to send them away for repair – as such, not everyone will have time to wipe their device, or maybe their phone’s exact defect affects their ability to do so (screen functionality, buttons, etc). In the case of the Pixel smartphones, Google recently announced that it will be introducing a “Repair Mode” feature, which ensures that user data is kept safe and secure even when in the hands of others. According to an official press statement from Google:
“Now we’re introducing more repair features that will give you peace of mind if your phone needs to be fixed. Here are three ways we are improving the repair process, including protecting your privacy, providing easy-to-use manuals and making parts and repairs easier to access.”
With this method, users can access the Pixel’s Repair Mode feature to help protect their privacy and prevent access to all the data that’s on their device when sending it over for repairs. Ideally, this reduces the time and effort needed to back up, erase and restore sensitive information and data. Users can easily turn on the feature before handing it over to a repair technician, and then turn it off again when they get back their Pixel phone afterwards.
Additionally, users can also head on over to Google’s Pixel software update and repair site to launch the Pixel Diagnostic App from their respective Pixel devices using the Phone App. This will allow users to test their phones for any possible issues before and after a repair. Google has partnered with iFixit to let users buy their own genuine Pixel replacement parts, alongside additional tools, manuals, and other resources to repair any defects with their phone. According to Google:
“Our repair partnership with iFixit has enabled small businesses and local repairers to thrive and grow by having scalable processes that enable them to do their repair work efficiently. In addition to our walk-in and mail-in repair options, we are now providing all repairers, DIY or professionals, with the resources they need to perform repairs. In addition to genuine spare parts from iFixit, repair fixtures and tools are now also available from Shyft Global Services. We remain committed to continuously improving device repairability to reduce the need for fixtures and tools and increase repair access for small business owners and customers.”
Going back to Repair Mode, this isn’t the first time that a smartphone manufacturer has included such a feature with its devices – last year, Samsung launched its “Maintenance Mode” feature for select Samsung Galaxy devices, which works similarly to Google’s implementation.
With that being said, it’s great to finally see a solution from Google for such concerns – a few years back, the company was in hot water after users complained that their data was accessed without their knowledge, after sending in their Pixel devices for repair. Moving forward, users should have the benefit of added confidence knowing that their data remains secure even when their device is away from them.