The zip lockscreen

Look at this Android lockscreen:

it may be stylish and minimalist, but do you think that your grandma could understand that she need to touch the circle and drag it around?
This is a geek oriented lockscreen, not one targeted at the mass market.

The iphone lockscreen is lightyears ahead:

I've seen children unlocking the phone the first time they've seen it without anyone telling them how.

I think Android needs an equally strong UI metaphor to appeal to a broad user base.
What can you use to convey the sliding action?
Take a look at this (badly) photoshopped (actually GIMPed) proof-of-concept:

I bet even the most techno-phobic can understand that he needs to pull and slide the zip.

Note: at the first try I've used the image of a zip from a blue jeans, but the risk of a two-way joke was too high, and that's not the spirit of this post.


  1. Suricou Raven6/11/11 18:38

    Slight problem: Android can't use a slide gesture to unlock. Apple patented the use of a slide gesture. That's the reason Android phones have to use other, less obvious motions.

    You can moan all you want about the patent system being broken, but that's how it works: Apple, and Apple alone, is allowed to use a slider to unlock it's devices. It's patented, the patent has been tested in court, and the court found it valid.

  2. I bet there's a better non-patented way of unlocking a phone than a circle on an abstract background.
    Turn a key? Open a drawer? Cast a fly?

  3. Anonymous6/11/11 21:07

    Apple's patent is for a horizontal motion. A vertical slide to unlock is fine.

  4. @suricou raven:

    Yes apple has a patent. No, it has not been tested in court - it was just issued 2 weeks ago. Since slide to unlock has existed for thousands of years, chances are this patent will never be tested.

    Not just my opinion, do a little Googling.

  5. Anonymous6/11/11 23:45

    Maemo has slide to unlock.