The Lock screen serves too diametrically opposed functions — to secure your iPhone or iPad against unauthorized access, and to provide convenient access to information and actions.
The original iPhone simply, delightfully let you swipe to unlock, with or without a passcode. Over time, Apple has added greater security to the Lock screen, including passwords, hardware encryption, Touch ID, PreBoard, and more. The company has also added greater convenience, including showing the time and date, alerts, wallpaper, optional direct access to Siri, Notification Center, Control Center, Passbook, motion wallpapers, Emergency Card, and more.
That's what is, but what about what could be? If Apple asked you what you want for the Lock screen in iOS 9, what would you tell them?
- Pattern unlock, like Apple Retail.
- Slideshow backgrounds, like Apple TV.
- Better animated backgrounds, like Apple Watch.
- Customizable appearance, like Apple Watch "faces".
- Customizable information zones, like Apple Watch "complications".
- Guest mode.
- Better interactive notifications on Lock screen.
- Predictive alerts.
- Short and long notifications to keep information private.
It's not hard to imagine that, in a post-Apple Watch world, we could see a short look notification on our iPhone to tell us a message has come in, pick it up to see more information, and respond right there with text or voice. That our favorite photos would float past or a jelly fish swim by as we glanced at the time, our next meeting and the current traffic to get there. That we could hand the phone to a friend at a conference to make a quick call or look up a quick piece of information on the web without giving them access to our data.
The Lock screen has come a long way, but in iOS 9, where would you like to see it go next?