While it’s generally Apple that is known for claiming patents on existing technologies, this time around Google has managed to get a patent of unlock-to-app launching.
According to USPTO, Google has been awarded the Android grid gesture unlock patent. The technique lets device owners complement a basic pattern unlock with multiple customizable patterns that launch specific apps, such as the camera or dialler directly from the lock screen.
However the unlock-to-app launching concept was implemented by third party lock screen replacements apps and even some OEM’s, as such the patent is seen as highly misleading. Google had applied for this patent in March 2012. Now that it officially owns the patent, it would be interesting to see whether the technique would be introduced in the next Android version.