Google Patents Different Patterns to Unlock Different Apps

If you're an Android user, chances are you're familiar with Google's pattern unlock system that eschews passcodes for a dot pattern you trace on your lock screen. Now it looks like the company could be looking to use different lock screen patterns to offer access to different functions.


Right now, Google will let you access certain features like the camera without unlocking your phone (BlackBerrys and iPhones are also able to do this), but Google has just been granted a patent for function specific unlock codes. So if you're just looking to access the camera, you'll use a different unclock code than if you were trying to unlock your whole phone or just the phone functionality.

Google hasn't mentioned anything about this feature outside of the patent application, so there's no telling if the company plans to incorporate it into future versions of Android. However, the company will really need to make sure users are only offered access in the most limited capacity possible. Earlier this year, a lock screen exploit for the iPhone showed how users could trick the phone into giving them access to the dialer and, from there, gain access to photos, call history, and more. Android currently offers passcode unlock, pattern unlock and face unlock.

Jane McEntegart works in marketing communications at Intel and was previously Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America. Before that, she worked for more than seven years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor and writing about everything from smartphones to tablets and games consoles.