Over the years, Apple has been notorious about filing lawsuits against competing companies, claiming copyright infringement of their iPhone design and features. Now, though, Apple has reportedly filed for a new patent that is clearly drawing inspiration from a new Android feature.
According to The Next Digit, the patent was filed for an automatic unlocking feature that will presumably become available on the next iPhone. The feature is location-based security, which means that it will allow users to have passwords or touch-based unlocking processes most of the time, but will also allow them to set up a “safe zone” of sorts at home or work where the phone will simply unlock itself.
The new feature is certainly an attractive concept. Many people like to put password protection on their phones to deter theft and prevent snooping, but unlocking the phone then becomes a hassle that can add up to quite a lot of time over the course of a day. Since theft usually is not a concern at home, users can set up safe zones in the places where they spend most of their time. When they enter this safe zone, then, the phone will automatically sense its location and dismiss its security protections. The protections we be re-initiated every time the user exits the predetermined safe zone.
Undoubtedly, iPhone users will appreciate Apple’s move to provide more intuitive security methods. However, considering the fact that the new feature will do more or less the exact same thing as a feature on Google’s recently-announced Android L operating system, some analysts in the tech industry might see the concept as a copycat one. Phone buyers, of course, will not care one way or the other, but who knows how Google will respond.