Apple Wins Patent For “Slide To Unlock” Gesture; But Still Gets Ripped Off By Espier Launcher On Android Market

Few days back, Apple won a patent for the “slide to unlock” gesture.

Apple had applied for the patent back in 2005, claiming the exclusive rights to unlocking a touchscreen device by tracing a preset pattern or gesture with a finger. 

Here’s a excerpt from the patent:

“a device with a touch-sensitive display may be unlocked via gestures performed on the touch-sensitive display. The device is unlocked if contact with the display corresponds to a predefined gesture for unlocking the device”.

We can still remember Steve Jobs describing how the iPhone can be unlocked when he unveiled it in January 2007:

“To unlock the phone, I just take my finger and slide it across. Wanna see that again? We wanted something you couldn’t do by accident in your pocket. Just slide it across – BOOM.”

It is not clear how this patent will impact Android as Google also offers a “slide to unlock” gesture to unlock an Android based device, but as you can see in the video below the patent hasn’t stopped folks behind Espier Launcher (Android Market link) from copying iOS interface including the “slide to unlock” feature and releasing it on the Android Market.

We’re quite sure it is not going to go down too well with Apple.

[via Patently Apple, @stroughtonsmith]

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  • Kitty

    It look like bad joke. I hope that this “patent” will be USA only.

    • Yeah agree, another reason why the patent system needs to be reformed.

  • Devman

    Why the fuck do you an iPhone hacking site that doesn’t allow iPhone users to play the fucking videos you post? Fix your sh!t man! WTF

    • Prckybgd

      Bro check your iPhone because on mine work just fine

    • Kimk69

      It works on my iPhone 4. What the fuck is an (Espier)? Lol, that accent kills me. I wonder how many Droid users are gonna try to make their phones look like an iPhone. If I was into Droid or had one the last thing I would want to do is make it look like an iPhone. But that’s just me and I don’t like Droid.

    • The video works fine on my iphone.

    • el diablo

      u pussy

  • Tom

    if they want an iPhone theme so bad buy an iPhone!!!

    • akachay

      tell that to apple when they take features from android blackberry palm and officially bake it into ios5! apple see that it’s efficient and effective features, they incorporate it. dev see it look nice and interesting, they make espire launcher. is this wrong? no. do you complain about the new ios5 features? ofcourse not.

      • Improving on features that the iphone already has is completely different than copying an entire look and feel of a competing product.

  • Neil

    I bet Nokia are thinking why didnt we patent the idea of having phone ringtones, ability to text message, allowing users to set-up an alarm, calculator app, customised phone settings, silent mode, vibrate mode etc etc back in the early days.

    • Kitty

      Thats true european cellular phones was more advanced than us ver. Imo apple has no any rights to patent stolen technology.

    • Who says they didn’t? Maybe it was denied. And who said nokia was first with any of the features you listed? Ask anyone what phone had a ringtone first and no one will be able to answer that. Ask anyone who had finger gestures on a capacitive touch screen first? I’m sure we all know that one.

      • +1

      • Neil

        Yes we all know who had finger gestures on a capacitive touch screen first – it was LG but just imagine if they had patented finger gestures….? This site would have been called LGHacks for one…

  • fas

    It took patent office 6 years to grant the patent?

    • Apparently, people seem to think the guys working at the patent office are idiots who award apple patents for no reason whatsoever. If it took them 6 years to award this one, then maybe someone there actually took some time to analyze and debate its validity?

      I would assume they know more about intellectual property than those who are posting on internet blogs though.

  • anakin

    haha love the video. Nice way to mislead the public into thinking google, android or even samsung is responsible for this app. lol nice. I think the guy in the video has a bright future working for Fox News.

    If anything, it just shows how flexible Android can be.

  • Mangoloo

    Why would google even allow an app like that on the shitdroid market?

    • moe

      cuz they are stupid. not for allowing the app, but for creating android in general LOL

      • Zolk

        Your complete idioticity and abject worthlessness as a person is showing, Moe.

      • fu

        Android is for folks with a working brain.
        iOS is for folks with herd mentality.

    • Well, the answer is quite simple. Android is supposed to be open, meaning its users are free to install whatever app they want from anywhere they want with no screening.

      • Zolk

        +1 … well, there is some screening on Android Market, but it’s a less judgemental form of screening than what they do on Apple Appstore. But anyone can install software from anywhere else too – at their own risk.

  • sparky

    using Espier Launcher means you will lose the widgets function for 5 pages of icons. Who would want to do that? Android’s best feature is 5 pages of widgets functionality not pages and pages of icons…