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Google patents specific app pattern unlock feature for Android

Google has today secured a patent for an expansion on its secure unlock pattern that will look to offer users the ability to draw a pattern to unlock a smartphone or tablet directly into a particular app.

This is a feature that has been offered on various handsets since the Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) version of the Android interface. However, if users are using the pattern unlock security method on their smartphone then this quick open feature is no longer available.

Google is looking to change this as the company has been granted a US patent on a new unlock pattern system which can be customised so that you can set a separate pattern to open directly into certain apps.

So if you pull your phone out of your pocket and want to access the camera immediately, you can put in a previously specified pattern on the unlock screen which will unlock the phone into the camera app straight away.

Google has secured the patent so we may expect the new feature as an inclusion on an incoming Android OS in the next few months, but with companies like Google it is often the case to patent a feature and then never actually bring it to market, so we still might not see the ‘Specific Pattern Unlock’ system at all.

Android 4.3, announced recently by Google, is just starting its roll out process now, initially to Nexus devices. We don’t expect to see a new Android version until early next year, which is really the first time we could possibly see this interesting feature in the flesh.

We think it’s a great idea if not one of those “why didn’t someone think of this before” moments! Let us know your thoughts on the idea.