I wish iOS had WiFi unlock

Using both iOS and Android devices daily, it’s unavoidable that you start wishing that one was more like the other in some ways. Those kinds of wishes go both ways, but one thing I’m really starting to notice a lot is the lack of WiFi unlock on iOS.

WiFi unlock isn’t a feature built into Android, but it’s a feature available for Android, via third party software. There are many ways of doing it, including using Tasker, but for once that’s not the solution I use. Instead I use Unlock With WiFi, a standalone app designed to simply disable the pattern/code requirement for unlocking your device while connected to one or more specified WiFi networks. The first unlock after connection requires the code, and then it will be deactivated until you leave the range of the WiFi network.

It’s one of the most straight forward tools on Android, as you don’t really have to ever think about it again once it’s set up. While Google messed up something it requires to work for certain unlock methods in ICS, it “simply works” in Gingerbread, and my devices are unlocked while I’m at home. The more you use your device at home, the more annoying it becomes to constantly have to enter a code to unlock the screen, and some of the Tasker profiles I have don’t even work properly if the device is locked while at home.

On iOS, there’s no such thing. You can set a lock delay, but that’s it, and it’s frankly a useless option. The times I need the device locked for is when I’m outside, and I may very well use the iPad one minute and have it been stolen 10 minutes later, making the lock delay completely useless. Manually enabling and disabling the lock is not an option either, as it’s both more work than just unlocking it, and I would simply forget to enable it again.

Unlocking a device using WiFi is still a third party feature on Android, though it shouldn’t be. To me at least, it’s roughly 42 quadrillion times more useful than the face unlock feature that Google actually put in there, and it’s one of those features that immediately comes to mind when I ask myself if I could ever switch back to iOS for my phone.

Apple has a tendency to make their own, OS-implemented version of various features that Android has as third party software, and I can just hope that it’ll do the same for this…eventually.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.