I still remember when Steve Jobs demonstrated the first iPhone, back in 2007. That was a revolutionary moment in the smartphone world. The first question that came when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone was: how to unlock it? Then, amazingly, he explained and demonstrated a slide-to-unlock feature to unlock the device to enter the home screen. In order to explain the feature one more time, he demonstrated how to unlock iPhone using this feature. Ever since that moment, slide-to-unlock became popular as a feature used to unlock iPhone with elegance.
Slide to unlock on iPhone is a simple feature – you are using one finger to unlock iPhone by sliding it from left to the right. Apple team has created this ergonomic feature so that we can unlock the phone with ease. Moreover, they also pay attention to details, such as the size and position of its virtual button. Samsung had to deal with the court because they copy the slide-to-unlock style on their Galaxy phone series.
Apple kept the same design and position of slide-to-unlock design only until iOS 6. From iOS 7 to iOS 9, users were able to access this feature anywhere on the screen from left to the right side. Now, Apple is finally eliminating the “slide to unlock” feature on iOS 10 and replaced it with “Press home to unlock” the iPhone. Why did Apple eliminate this popular feature after 9 years?
Why Apple Dropped Slide To Unlock In iOS 10?
Slide-to-unlock: A fail identity
Before iPhone came, various ways to unlock handphones and smartphones already existed. They have different ways to unlock the device, but no one has the same design as iPhone’s slide-to-unlock feature. It became an identity of iPhone. It was a unique way to unlock a mobile phone and Apple used it to strengthen the brand.
As an identity, Apple tried to keep the feature. Many Android smartphones copied it. It made slide-to-unlock of iPhone no longer unique and special.
It’s made for a single page lock screen
Slide-to-unlock was designed to fit on a single page lock screen. So that user only needs to slide the screen to unlock the iPhone. Until iOS 9, the iPhone lock screen was limited to only 1 page with some information, such as notification, clock, etc. On iOS 10, Apple introduced a widget which can be accessed on the left side of page lock screen, and it’s no longer suitable for slide-to-unlock design. On iOS 10, slide on the lock screen activities are only used to open Camera app and widget.
Home button centric and touch ID
On iOS, Apple changes the way users can unlock the iPhone, from sliding the lock screen to pressing the home button. I think the idea makes sense.
Utilizing home button to unlock the iPhone gives Apple a chance to promote touch ID usage, which is located on the home button. It’s the only secure biometric unlock solution for iPhone – iPhone 5s to iPhone 7.
Eliminating the slide-to-unlock feature is a courageous step. Steve Jobs loved this feature so much, but it seems that Apple thinks “it is time to release it and move forward”.