Recently Apple managed to nail Motorola with an injunction in Germany on the basis of its slide-to-unlock patent, now comes the news that Google has filed for a patent for its own lock-screen suggests a report by Patently Apple. This perhaps is Google’s way of dodging Apple’s lawsuit laser beam.
By the looks of it, Google’s lock-screen mechanism seems like a hybrid of the one currently employed on Ice Cream Sandwich and the customized HTC Sense 3.0 styled lock-screen. Using this method, users can not only unlock their device, but also access multiple apps, or perhaps even display widgets.
Having said this, the lock-screen also reminds us of the lock-screen options offered by MIUI, which is a forked offspring of Android. Apart from the MIUI lock screen, this lock-screen design is also similar in some ways to the stock TouchWiz lock screen used by Samsung on its devices.
Furthermore, Google has also patented a method of unlocking a device via voice recognition. Previously Google had introduced a feature called ‘Face Unlock’ in Android 4.0 ICS, which used the device’s front facing camera to recognize the user’s face to unlock the device.
Over the past few months Apple has waged a legal battle against various Android OEMs, in part due to Android’s patent infringements and in part due to the OEM level customizations.
In the case involving the Motorola smartphone ban, Apple particularly targeted the lock screen method employed by Motorola. It should be noted, while the stock lock-screen of Android 2.3 gingerbread (The version of Android found in most smartphones) is very similar to one used by Apple, most OEMs have customized this aspect of the OS hence most OEMs have not been sued by Apple, however in the case of Motorola’s Moto Blur UI, it remains very similar to Apple’s lock–screen mechanism.