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]