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The history of the gesture “Slide to Unlock”

We all know the gesture to unlock the screen “Slide to Unlock” on the iPhone, but few know the story of its creation. The book “Apple Unsung Hero” tells the little-known Apple designer bass Odinga, who is one of the creators of this gesture.

During the development of the iPhone, the company tried to make it management as simple as possible, mainly due to a single swipe. Along with that Apple invested in the development and promotion of the company’s patented multitouch gestures.

According to Odinga, the idea is to simplify the management of your iPhone belongs to Steve jobs. Multi-touch gestures virtually impossible to carry with one hand: you can swipe with one finger, but to enlarge the image, for example, thus will not work.

“We worked very hard on multitouch, but then decided to make it so that everyone worked with one finger,” says the designer.

Bass Oding worked at Apple for about 15 years, was one of the leading designers of iOS and OS X and the Creator of many visual effects in operating systems. Today, few people know about this employee, although he is the author of many of Apple’s patents, and the witness of judicial confrontation with Samsung. In the book “Unsung Hero of the Apple” Bass told the story of the creation of the gesture “Slide to Unlock”.

Creating gesture

At all iPhone has a proximity sensor that turns off the screen when the phone touches the user’s face. First, the Apple designers decided that it would be sufficient to block the device when the owner puts it in his pocket.

But after testing it turned out that there is a risk that the device in your pocket can make a call or drop a mail. It was therefore decided that the screen of the smartphone should be locked and to unlock it you need a simple gesture.

The developers tried out several options – swipe with two fingers simultaneously pressing on the display at two points and others. However, none of them could be done with one hand. And this time, Steve jobs decided that the iPhone should be more gestures with one finger.

Simple long swipe

Engineering team interface to know that they need a big long swipe. In addition, the user must hold the screen horizontally, and not vertically, as in the latter case, it is possible to accidentally unlock the device, pulling it from his pocket.

The mechanism consisted of a button that you had to “drag” on the other side of the screen and the text “Slide to Unlock”. However, the designers believed that it was necessary to introduce something that would move the button to the right. The obvious option would be arrow, but the slide bar already had the text. Then Oding invented to animate the inscription “Slide to Unlock” – simple and elegant solution.

In 2011, Apple was granted a patent on Slide to Unlock technology that was the cause of prolonged litigation with Samsung. The authors of the patent are the main iOS developer Scott Forstall, Oding and other members of the team on designing the UI: Imran Chaudhry, Freddie Allen Anzures, Marcel van OS, Stephen O. Lemay and Greg Christie.

In 2016 Apple refused the gesture Slide to Unlock to use the unlock button Home.

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