Apple Patents New iOS Unlocking Features
A patent just awarded to Apple allows for a user of an iOS to lock or unlock a device based on a gesture — perhaps the equivalent of a child-proof cap.
The patent, as spotted by AppleInsider and reported by TechCrunch, would allow access to one set of apps — let’s say games for instance — with the drawing of a letter with a fingertip, and then another set, say email, with another, separate gesture.
Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,528,072 for a “Method, apparatus and system for access mode control of a device,” describes a system that creates user access modes guarded by predetermined gesture inputs.
Currently, as Apple Insider reports, Apple’s iOS offers passcode unlocking as a means of access control. Under this method, users must input a simple code or password to gain complete access to the device. Apple also provides a certain level of user configuration, allowing access to Siri, Passbook and Reply with Message even when a device is locked.
Such unlocking methods are definitely not new and various Android devices in the past along with custom ROMs have allowed similar functions, whereby a user can “draw” a letter or a shape to launch a specific app, such as the drawing of an envelope that would launch the email app.
This patent by Apple is also accompanied with the effective feature of “Guest Mode”. In this feature Apple will build a lock screen launcher that will easily be accessed by the user through gestures, voice, keyboard, mouse or stylus, already covered in the Apple patent.