Asking Google questions out loud hasn't really caught on in the UK in the way that is has in more self-assured countries (read: America), but for those who love hands-free searching, there'll soon be a new way to bug Google Assistant without even unlocking your phone.
According to VentureBeat, Google Assistant will use its existing Voice Match feature – which can differentiate between up to six different members of a household on Google Home – to ascertain that the phone's owner is the one making the query. If the voice matches, Google will answer the query without needing to unlock the phone.
You'll be able to do things like setting timers or reminders without using your PIN or fingerprint, as you currently have to. That's pretty handy: we can imagine being in the middle of getting ready for work and asking what the traffic's like, for instance.
The new feature makes Google's recently-announced £69 Pixel Stand more compelling: together with the phone, they'll make a decent stand-in for a smart display or Google Home. The Pixel Stand already offers features like using the phone's screen as a wake-up light just before your alarm goes off.
As ever, we don't have a specific date or time for the lockscreen voice feature, just a vague statement about rolling out in the next few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy feeling like a wally saying "Hey Google" to your lockscreen and having it completely ignore you. Burn.