Apple Patents iOS Unlocking Methods That Determine Level Of User Access To Device Features And Software
A big request from parents regarding iOS has been that Apple implement user accounts on its mobile devices, in order to make it so that a parent can sign in with greater access to device features and apps than a child, for instance. It’s a system that already has an analogue on the desktop, and that Google has seen fit to implement with multiple user accounts with varying levels of permissions for tablets running Android 4.3 and higher. A new patent granted to Apple today (spotted by AppleInsider) describes a way of changing device access depending on who’s doing the accessing.
Apple’s newly-awarded patent describes a system wherein the method used by a user to unlock a device via gesture-based input would determine what apps are made available, as well as what hardware functions. So, for instance, one gesture (could be the drawing of a specific shape or letter with a finger tip) might allow access only to games content on the phones, while another could offer up access to an entire category of apps provided through corporate deployment, but not to other features.
The system Apple has patented also allows for gestures to unlock the phone directly into specific apps, so that one could launch the email app and keep a user within that bit of software exclusively, for instance. Other incarnations could limit access to certain phone features, including the camera and mic, or to in-app purchases, locking down a device for worry-free sharing with a child.