Apple Awarded Patent for Slide-to-Unlock Gesture, Mechanism
You probably do it about 500 times a day: slide to unlock. It’s the ubiquitous iOS method of accessing your device. It was one of Steve Jobs’ proudest moments in 2007, when he showed off this uniquely different feature on the iPhone. And now, Apple officially holds the patent for the slide-to-unlock design. What does this mean for the Android world? Read on for the details …
Apple patented the very specific motion, movement, graphical representation and direction of the slide-to-unlock feature you see on iOS devices, and even Android’s old-style unlock doesn’t match the patent specs. Still, for those keeping score at home, Android abandoned the similar slide-to-unlock feature for Ice Cream Sandwich in favor of a circular lock button that gets dragged to the outside edge of an invisible unlock circle. The HP TouchPad uses something similar, too.
But on a larger scale, Apple’s patent equates to a stocked arsenal in its holy war against Android. Weaponized patents. It’s already apparent that Apple is on a full litigious assault, and Google has taken countermeasures by scooping up Motorola Mobility. Don’t forget Microsoft is also raking in cash from every Android phone sold, too. In the grand scheme of things, Apple’s patent award should come as no surprise, especially at such a violent time in technological history. It’s a wild world; protect what’s yours or lose it altogether.
We now know Steve Jobs wanted to destroy Android, so with Jobs’ passing, it’ll be interesting to see how long the patent wars carry on. Will slide-to-unlock legal battles ensue despite the specific patent outlines, or will the entire world quiet down for a while and simply go about patenting what they can for their own? Let us know what you think. The Android-vs.-iOS discussions can get awfully heated.