December 23, 2005: Apple files a patent application for its iconic “slide to unlock” gesture for the iPhone.
At this point, the iPhone remains a secret research project. However, the ability to unlock the device by sliding your finger across it signifies Apple’s big ambitions for its smartphone. Cupertino wants the iPhone to be easy to use, intuitive and miles ahead of the competition technologically.
This an excerpt from Unsung Apple Hero, an e-book about UI designer Bas Ording’s career at Apple. Ording is responsible for a big chunk of today’s computing interfaces, but is little-known because of Apple’s super-strict privacy policies. Hit the link at the bottom of this post to get a free copy of the e-book.
One of the key design decisions that Apple’s Human Interface Team made early on while developing the iPhone was to go all in on big, simple gestures. They wanted to make a single, simple swipe accomplish as much as possible.
It’s a bit ironic. After investing so much in multitouch technology, which relies on multiple touch inputs, one of Apple’s key edicts was to make as many gestures as possible work with a single finger.
Ever since the iPhone came out in 2007, users have always had to slide a finger along the bottom of the screen to unlock it. With iOS 7, Apple’s still has the ‘slide to unlock’ message at the bottom of the lockscreen, but rather than having to drag a little square across the screen to open your device, now you can swipe pretty much anywhere.
You can slide to unlock from the bottom, top, middle; you can even swipe from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner and iOS 7 will still unlock your screen.
It’s one of the most convient little features in iOS 7, so Gizmodo created a handy GIF to show all the new ways you can swipe to unlock, check it out below:
A U.K. judge has ruled in favor of HTC over claims that the Taiwanese smartphone vendor infringes four of Apple’s patents for touchscreen technology, including its famous slide-to-unlock feature. Judge Christopher Floyd decided that HTC’s smartphones are not guilty of infringement, and that three of Apple’s four patents are invalid.
You’ve been sliding to unlock your iPhone and your iPad since day one. Why not do the same on your Mac? Well, today’s tip will show you how, with a simple app download, you can be sliding and gesturing to unlock your Mac in no time at all.
The screenshot above might look like the typical UI mess of an Android phone, but it’s actually an iOS reflex game called Slide To Unlock, in which the only goal of the game is to eponymously unlock slider after slider in all directions — up, down, left and right — but not through multiple dimensions, like time and space. It’s like a lock screen Simon.
As we all well know by now, the smallest decision in an Apple product can be the sort of thing that Cupertino designers can have spent man years deciding upon, experimenting with iteration after iteration until inspiration finally and serendipitously strikes. But this obsession with detail isn’t just visual: it goes right down to the sounds you never think twice about.
Here’s one great example, shared by sound designer Jim McKee on the 99% Invisible Podcast. The sound of your iPhone or iPad unlocking itself? It’s actually the sound a vice grip makes opening itself up.
Bored of your iPhone’s default unlock animation? I was after about three minutes. But thanks to a new jailbreak tweak called iUnlock, you can customize your unlock animation yourself with awesome effects and sounds.
Today a German court ruled that most of Motorola’s products infringe on Apple’s slide-to-unlock image patent with the only exception being the slide-the-circle gesture used in the Motorola XOOM. This ruling allows Apple to enforce a permanent injunction against the Motorola products found in violation. Motorola can still appeal the decision therefore Apple would be taking a very big risk enforcing such an injunction at this time. Should the ruling be overturned, Apple would have to reimburse Motorola for any lost sales due to the injunction. Regardless of Apple’s decision, one thing is for sure: Motorola will now have to make changes to their UI.
There was an earlier report of Apple going after the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for violating its slide to unlock patent, which left most Android users scratching their heads. It was obvious that the new unlock feature in Ice Cream Sandwich was vastly different than the traditional slide to unlock, leaving many to chalk this up to another Apple patent trolling. Now we know this isn’t the case, thanks to a report in the Korean Herald, in which an unnamed Samsung official says:
Don’t you wish your iOS device would do something a little more spectacular when you use that “slide to unlock” button? Well UnlockFX from Filippo Biga might be the answer. It’s a tweak that offers all kinds of fancy effects designed to transform the unlock animation on your jailbroken iOS device from boring to beautiful.
In Sweden, international human rights and justice advocacy group Amnest International has launched a poignant advertising campaign called Slide to Unlock that uses custom iPhone and iPad wallpapers to try to raise awareness of the many innocent people wrongfully imprisoned around the world.
The campaign is as haunting as it is clever. Using free wallpapers, Amnesty International’s ads take advantage of the iPhone and iPad’s “slide to unlock” gesture and the ability to use different wallpapers on both your home and unlock screen to show the wrongfully imprisoned literally being freed by someone just opening their phone and sending a text.