Google awarded patent for alternative unlocking patterns in Android

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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?

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