Apple has filed a patent for something I would love to see implemented in a future iOS update: Quick access to certain apps directly from the iPhone’s lockscreen. Patently Apple says that the patent application outlines a system of rotating the “slide to unlock” slider on iOS’ lockscreen upwards, and then providing access to a number of apps directly, without having to unlock the phone and find the apps on the home screen.
I could not love this idea more. I think one of iOS’ biggest weaknesses is the home screen’s lack of actual functionality. Apple has taken half measures by providing direct access to the camera app and a better implementation of the Notification Center, but most of the lockscreen is wasted space. There’s almost no way to add information and functionality you want. It’s a major loss, especially when you consider how Apple’s competitors have handled things. Obviously Apple wants a good-looking way to do it, and I respect that. But this idea definitely seems like it offers some good possibilities.
According to Apple’s patent, the sliding display would feature a touch-sensitive home button, and the way you’d get access to these apps would be to enter some specific combination of gestures on that button directly. Of course, like all of the patents we see come out of Apple, there’s no guarantee that this will ever be implemented in this way. But man, I’d definitely like to see more functionality on my iPhone’s lockscreen, however it’s put together.