AndroidGood and EVO

Prepare yourself for more ugly Apple lawsuits

Apple-patent-slide-to-unlock-

Things are about to get a lot more heated between Apple and Google. And as history has taught us, Apple's hatred of all things Android usually turns into attacks on handset manufacturers like HTC, which manufactures consumer devices like the HTC EVO.

This time it's about a new patent that Apple just acquired on "slide to unlock" technology, which is used in both AOSP ROMs and standard Sense-based ROMs. For example, think of the bar you have to slide down to unlock the screen on your EVO 4G, or the ring you slide up to unlock your EVO 3D, EVO Design, or EVO View. That's what Apple is now attacking.

Here's the patent in question.

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. The device displays one or more unlock images with respect to which the predefined gesture is to be performed in order to unlock the device. The performance of the predefined gesture with respect to the unlock image may include moving the unlock image to a predefined location and/or moving the unlock image along a predefined path. The device may also display visual cues of the predefined gesture on the touch screen to remind a user of the gesture. In addition, there is a need for sensory feedback to the user regarding progress towards satisfaction of a user input condition that is required for the transition to occur.

As you can see, the language is just vague enough where it could really, in all actuality, be applied to all Android devices, not just ones by HTC.

Time to panic? Not yet. But we can be sure that Apple's not going to just sit on this one forever.

[US Patent and Trade Office via 9 to 5 Mac]
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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

Avatar of John F

40 thoughts on “Prepare yourself for more ugly Apple lawsuits

  • Another point of proof that the patent system needs to be reformed. How can that be patented? That’s bull shit.

    Reply
  • “GregD said…

    Another point of proof that the patent system needs to be reformed. How can that be patented? That’s bull shit.”

    Agree…. the system needs to be fixed. But also think abount the amount of money that is being wasted on lawsuits for these things and the innovation and improvement that could be taking place instead.

    Reply
  • Avatar of HTCEVO4GUSER

    Sly that is so true. These companies are wasting so much money. But if you think about it Apple for years been trying to sue everybody and their mama. Which is stupid because it is just about things that phones can do. You can’t be the only company making cell phones. Samsung, HTC, Sony, and other cell makers have been around for years. Just recently Apple came into the picture. But don’t get me wrong there products are pretty good. If they would use a bit of that money to make even better phones with stable OS it would help. But I guess all we can do is sit and wait to see what happens.

    Reply
  • Avatar of biker1

    The Fat, Rich Attorneys are the ones that are getting Fatter and Richer with all these Lawsuits!
    Hail to the American Bar Association!

    Reply
  • Avatar of ninjoe8

    how about we just stop calling it a lock screen? it seems to me that the patent is under the assumption that the screen you see when you power the phone is a “locked” screen. if you make it a pulled-down notification bar, you still need only one gesture to get to the home screen and can argue that the phone was never locked at all.

    Reply
  • RIP Steve Jobs but Apple needs to stop the madness.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Stormer

    Is it possible to just “turn off” the lock screen? I honestly don’t even know what use it is? (I mean, I don’t leave my phone laying around, if someone wants to rip it off my hip, go for it, I’ll just nuke it when I get to a computer and track them down and fry them if I can’t hit them with a rock while they are running from me.) I don’t password protect my phone. If I did it would just increase how many more things I gotta “touch” just to use my phone. I push that mechanical button at the top right of my evo4g and then I gotta slide that lock screen. Can that just be turned off? I just want to push the button and have it go immediately to my phone without touching “anything”. Seems to me to be a waist of my time…

    Reply
  • Avatar of atlanta

    (((((B U L L )))))

    Reply
  • Avatar of atlanta

    GET OFF OUR WEB SITE …U APPLE LOVER

    Reply
  • Avatar of Dustin

    The lockscreen has nothing to do with keeping a user out, it’s there if the power button gets pushed, you need to take an extra step to access the phone so you’re not randomly calling people or other doing other things on your phone when it’s in your pocket or other place.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mark Richards

    Well, then here’s a new unlock gesture for Apple:

    …………………./´¯/)
    ………………..,/¯../
    ………………./…./
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……………………..’…../
    ……….”…………. _.·´
    ……………………..(
    …………………………

    (forum.ebaumsworld.com/showthread.php?t=121411)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Curt Hibbs

    Other sites have been pointing out that there is prior art (this was being done elsewhere, two years prior to Apple filing for the patent), so this should be easily invalidated.

    Also, someone else who actually read through the patent, found that it claims to only be applicable for HORIZONTAL unlock motions.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Patrick

    But what if you hold your device in landscape mode?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Stormer

    EXACTLY!

    If I enable the password feature, I still have to “unlock” the screen to get to the password feature. If the password feature was enabled, that would prevent calls from going through if it were in your pocket no? The mechanical button, at least on my phone, does not get accidentally pushed.

    My point is, it’s a useless extra step and I’d like the option to completely disable it. Then I can tell apple to go take a flying booya!

    Reply
  • You can pull HTC’s new ring unlock in any direction, as well as Honeycomb’s and ICS’…

    Reply
  • Stormer, I am soooooooo with you man! When I came from Windows Mobile to Android, I thought the biggest and most obvious feature fubar, was the lack of ability for the user to choose whether to enable the lock screen or not. The fact that that decision is forced on everyone seems more reminiscent of the big A, than the mechanics regarding how it’s implemented. And just in case this causes any confusion, NO I don’t like Apple even a little bit.

    Reply
  • Avatar of atlanta

    Let’s run out and grab an iPhone so they can charge us for breathing and farting…

    Reply
  • Wow. Is Apple going to sue over the way people hold a phone next?

    All Apple is doing is creating allot of enemies, which is anyone that doesn’t use an iPhone, and even people who do own iPhones as this just stalls innovation for everyone.

    I would never buy an Apple product because of my hatred toward them, and I don’t want to be associated with the Apple name.

    Reply
  • I still remember what a buddy at work said the first time he looked at my Evo,

    “hey it slides open like an iPhone–I smell lawsuit”
    or the clerk at Barnes & Noble,
    “ooh, I didn’t know the iPhone came in black”.

    Obviously these people didn’t realize the direction of the slide but they knew that a finger swipe opened an iPhone. Apple doesn’t want me telling those people that it’s not an iPhone because now they have a choice. So why did Android, Google, HTC, implement that irritating slider that I’ve been trying to disable? There are other ways to lock a smartphone, many ways! Let Apple have that stupid slider and adopt something else! Android is about individuality yet in many ways, some Android developers seem like they’re trying to copy Apple’s model of system unification yet we root these phones to make them unique. Screw Apple! Let them have the slider–we Android developers should come up with something else, Symbian did, RIM did, etc. (LOL, I handled my divorce like this, “keep it all, I can get more later–I just want out!)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Javán

    isn’t “american b.a.r. association” a contradiction??

    Reply
  • Like most things on Android there are apps for that lol. I use “Battery Indicator” which allows you to toggle off the lock screen completely if you want. I also use “Tasker” which lets you control everything. I have it set to cut off my lockscreen when Im using certain apps, like music, video, my camera and my work out apps etc. I’m sure there are many more that would get the job done….. And as far as this post… This is why I cant stand Apple and their douchebaggery

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mark Richards

    –Screw Apple! Let them have the slider–we Android developers should come up with something else

    Agreed. How about the old Star Trek communicator wrist motion?

    The motion sensor might be able to detect this…

    But, I still like my other suggestion :)

    Reply
  • Avatar of biker1

    Yes, I just purchased one.
    I went over to the other side…….
    Yeah, right.
    Not now, not ever.
    Never say Never.
    Must….. Have…. An…. iPhone……

    Reply
  • Read Richard Stallman if you want to see how silly the patent system in this country really is. IBM holds a patent (never used mind you) for taking the contents of two items and putting them together to form a new item. So everytime you put two pieces of paper into a folder and file it, you owe IBM money.

    Now Apple thinks it owns anything tablet shaped forgetting that Microsoft and so many others beat them to the tablet in some cases by decades. Now that the delusional lunatic who ran Apple is dead, maybe they will stop the nonsense and get back to trying to win in the marketplace, not the courtroom, though I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting if I were you.

    Reply
  • i thought so too, so i looked into how to disable it and sure enough it turned on in my pocket and did stuff in my pocket all day, at the very least my battery was drained from all the pocket dialing that went on.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Eric M

    woe… settle down there ATL.

    why cant we be friends… why cant we be friends.?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Eric M

    I dont… but then I freed my phone a long time ago with CM7

    Reply
  • This was one of the first patents that apple has been claiming is their intellectual property when I first heard of these lawsuits over a year ago and I think it’s the most ridiculous. If apple didn’t spend so much time with these nonsense cases the iphone 5 would actually be released already. Let them continue this nonsense while androids continue to take over the world.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Steve Gaudreau

    Another reason way I will stay with my evo over the iphone

    Reply
  • well how else are you suppose to unlock a touch screen device easily with out doing some kind of swiping or sliding motion

    Reply
  • or counter sue apple for using the pull down notification bar

    Reply
  • I wish I was the judge for one of these patent war hearings. I just want to ask what exactly it is that Apple wants. Do they want to be the only cell phone on the planet? I mean give it a break already and take the battle to the market place and out of court. If the iphone was indeed the best they wouldn’t have to cause all this trouble. Its like a little kid taking his football home with him cause he’s losing. Well I guess that kid is all grown up and works at Apple now.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Stormer

    @Barry, I’ve been watching old re-runs of star trek… they used tablets all during the 80’s. Maybe it’s not such an original idea? oh, wait, they had wireless phones and such back then too, and woah, slider doors that magically open… =)

    Reply
  • Avatar of Stormer

    @jason,

    >>>did stuff in my pocket all day

    isn’t that rather a personal thing to be discussing in public??

    LOL!

    Reply
  • Patents need to be more than an IDEA.

    Toast has a patent on it.

    Seriously.

    Toast.

    It’s ridiculous.

    The patent should be more technical than an idea and include HOW the screen and finger interacts and what happens INSIDE the device.

    What’s next? Apple will patent the “press to talk”?

    Actually, who owns THAT patent?

    I’m sure someone does.

    If Apple can’t beat ’em in the market, they’ll try to beat ’em in the courts.

    Apple can suck it.

    Reply
  • I’m surprised Apple has tried to patent the “bring phone to ear to hear and speak”.

    Oh, wait . . . I’m sure that’s next.

    Reply
  • I think it’s easier for the masses to unite and file a class-action lawsuit, than try to be the judge yourself. It’s called a free market because everyone should have a fair chance in business, and skewing this balance shouldn’t happen.

    -Al

    Reply

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