Google awarded patent for alternative unlocking patterns in Android

By on August 6, 2013, 7:45 PM

Android users have enjoyed quick access to frequently-used apps via the lock screen for some time. This allows you to pop into any given app in a few taps as possible – granted you don’t have a pattern lock on your phone. Users that value personal security on their handset aren’t afforded the convenience of quick-launching apps but that could change in the near future based on a new patent awarded to Google.

The patent in question would allow Android users to set a unique pattern lock for specific apps to allow them to quick-launch said apps. For example, a general pattern lock would be used to take a user to the home screen while several other patterns would be utilized to launch the Facebook app, Angry Birds, Twitter, etc.

It’s unclear, however, whether the feature would allow a user to load just a specific app with a specific pattern or if someone could back out of a game or app and return to the home screen without having to enter the “master” pattern. Keeping up with multiple patterns shouldn't be an issue either as the feature would show unlock options for apps on the last node of a pattern as highlighted in the graphic above.

When or if the feature ever makes it into a public version of Android remains to be seen. Considering Android 4.3 still uses the conventional pattern lock method, it’s clear that Google is in no big hurry to implement it. Perhaps it’ll come with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie?

User Comments: 6

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JC713 JC713 said:

I always liked that way of unlocking.

1 person liked this | Dimitriid Dimitriid said:

And what good will that do if Obama can just veto any injunction anyway provided it's against campaign contributors like Apple

1 person liked this | ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Another bullshit patent. The patent system really needs to stop granting patents for UI design.

Guest said:

They didn't patent UI design, but a way how it unlocks.

RH00D RH00D said:

Another stupid patent. Don't act like its "okay" just because a company you like is doing it.

I'd wager only about 10% of software patents that have been awarded in the last 20 years could actually be justified. The other 90% is just as ridiculous as Apple's swipe to unlock and this nonsense.

NeurotechHD NeurotechHD said:

Not sure how Apple can lose its patent for Swipe To Unlock, then Google gets this patent confirmed. What is going on? I wish a tech website would investigate this as if they were journalists and explain what is happening here.

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